Aeromexico has announced plans to operate five flights a week between London Heathrow and Mexico City later this year.
The airline’s senior vice president global sales Jorge Goytortua Bores told Travel Daily the carrier will add a fourth weekly service in April and then a fifth service from June. It comes two years after the carrier launched the thrice weekly service.
All five will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the investment representing a 60% increase in capacity.
“The UK is the third largest tourism inbound market for Mexico and we are adding these routes following higher demand from the market,” he said. “In 2014 our UK traffic grew 31% totalling 59,000 passengers and around 31% of these are connecting onto destinations with Mexico and Central America.”
Tourism to Mexico from the UK has grown significantly in the last two years helped by new hotels, improved infrastructure and more interest from tour operators. With its Mexico City hub the airline is seeing many take up the multi-centre option with time in both a city and onward to a coastal resort or heritage area.
Its night flight timing and Dreamliner have also been behind the success of the route, according to Rocio Blazquez, the airline’s regional sales director Europe & Asia.
“Customers tell us they do not really feel jetlag from our European Dreamliner flights (which also operate from Madrid and Paris) so it means that when they land they are ready for their trip and feeling happy. We are the only carrier in the region to have a night flight so it means our passengers can maximise their time as they arrive in Mexico in the morning having usually slept on our flight,” she said.
As it focuses on Mexico City as a hub there are not yet plans to fly from London to other resorts, or from other UK airports.
“We’ve stimulated the market here and created momentum, which would need to continue if we are to add London routes. Connecting through Mexico City is important to the leisure destinations and for our business passengers too,” Goytortua said.
Travel agents, he says, are core to its business and Goytortua has met with several TMCs and travel agents during his short trip to London. Fam trips are being organised this year to show off alternative destinations to the resorts such as Cancun, and this will also be a focus on its online training programme. The online system is expected to train up 50,000 agents this year.
Internationally its network is growing too with two extra weekly flights from Madrid, more internal connections and additional capacity from Shanghai, Tokyo and South America. New routes are on the cards from Toronto and Boston. Aeromexico’s roll-out of its new fleet continues, after the carrier made the largest investment by any Mexican company and purchased 100 aircraft in 2012 for a US$11 billion sum.
Technology is also a focus with web check-in improved and some of its newer Dreamliners are even now fitted with Wi-Fi, which will be implemented on new aircraft entering the fleet.