There ought to be 30 million of these by the end of the year. There ought to be 30 million of these by the end of the year.

Another 1.5 million seats on direct flights expected this year

Nearly half of the 39.3 million international visitors last year traveled by air

There could be another 1.5 million airline seats added on direct flights to Mexico this year, bringing the total to nearly 30 million.

The Mexico Tourism Board (CPTM) said the country’s air connectivity has been steadily growing: 2.6 million seats were added over the course of 2017, bringing the total to 28 million.

The growth ought to allow Mexico to keep up with strong demand: a record-breaking 10.6 million tourists visited during the first quarter of 2018, representing an increase of more than 12% compared to the same period last year.

Nearly half (18.6 million) of the 39.3 million international visitors to Mexico last year traveled by air.

“Increasing air connectivity is a critical component of our tourism growth strategy,” said Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid in a statement.

“The expansion of air routes not only offers visitors from all corners of the globe better access to all that Mexico has to offer, it also solidifies Mexico’s appeal to the business sector. Mexico is a world of its own, and the demand for access to its beaches, vibrant cities and magical towns is a winning proposition for the airline industry,” he said.

The connectivity strategy seeks to increase tourist arrivals from markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East and India.

New routes include Hainan Airlines’ first-ever service from Beijing to Mexico City via Tijuana, and Emirates Airlines’ service between Dubai and Mexico City via Barcelona.

While air routes in North America are already consolidated, notable new air routes continue to be added, including Boston-Mexico City, Chicago-Guadalajara, New York-Mexico City, Philadelphia-Mexico City, Sacramento-Los Cabos, San Diego-Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco-Cancun, San Jose-Los Cabos and Vancouver-Mexico City.

More domestic routes are coming on stream too this year. Volaris announced 14 last week.

Source: TravelPulse (sp)

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