US Airlines Scaling Back Flights To Mexico Due To Violence

Several US airlines have decided to reduce US to Mexico flights due to a decrease in demand. The reason behind this reduction is understood to stem from the increased media coverage of violence in the area, coupled with US travel warnings. But despite these warnings and flight reductions, Mexico’s international tourism grew 9.6% from Jan to May this year, with international air arrivals increasing by 5.6%.

Since the 1960’s the Mexican government has been promoting the benefits to Americans of a break south of the border. It’s the number one, foreign destination for Americans, and according to the World Tourism Organisation, one of the most visited countries in the world.

Homicide spikes and isolated events

However, this year, the U.S government issued travel advisories for Mexico for two reasons. Overall, there has been a 16 percent rise in homicides in the country and some Mexican states saw a jump of over 100 percent. There was also the incident in Playa del Carmen involving a bomb aboard a ferry, which injured 26 people. This led the US State Department to issue a level two travel advisory level for Mexico as a whole, “Exercise Increased Caution”. It has also issued a level four “Don’t Travel”, for Quintana Roo, the state which is home to Cancun, Tulum and Cozumel.

What US airlines fly to Mexico?

American Airlines, the largest airline in the United States, flies to 20 cities in Mexico, including Cancun, and Acapulco. Alaska flies to eight destinations including Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos. Delta Airlines is probably the most prolific provider, flying almost everywhere via Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Atlanta, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Austin, TX. United also do the big tourist destinations as do several of the smaller LLCs.

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Fewer flights to Mexico from the US

So it’s hardly surprising, with a travel advisory out there demand is going to drop. Most people considering a winter break or beach resort holiday, who are willing to fly, are going to look towards the Caribbean instead. This is bad news for the US airlines who are dropping flights, and must sting even more when they see international tourists still making the trip.

What is impacting reductions to US to Mexico flights?

There are many elements at play in this flight reduction dynamic. For many, negative news reports and ongoing tension at the US Mexico border has made the country less attractive overall. There is a sense that being a US citizen in Mexico is inviting trouble. But also, the type of people who usually book flights in advance to Mexico are also the type more likely to heed government warnings. Older travellers and those with families are choosing a staycation or are heading south east.

Other travellers, such as younger, more adventurous vacationers are still booking flights. But to the airline’s chagrin, they’re booking much later, looking for last minute deals and securing them too. Because right now, flights to Mexico from the US are surprisingly empty.

Just in case you’re interested.

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