Starting in December, the Mérida International Airport will become a sixth home base for Viva Aerobus, the airline announced.
The budget Mexican airline also unveiled two new routes in Mérida: one with Querétaro city, starting December 16 and one with León, Guanajuato, starting two days later.
That’s on top of an already announced Toluca, México state, route to and from Mérida starting September 23.
In utilizing the Mérida airport (MID) as an operating base, Viva Aerobus will keep its aircraft there overnight, and members of its base crews and engineering staff will live nearby.
It’s expected that Mérida will gain additional new routes going forward.
“We see great potential in Mérida, not just in tourism but also in the growing industrial sector, so it makes sense for us to make this move,” said director Juan Carlos Zuazua.
“We will be creating around 300 sources of employment among crew members, maintenance technicians and airport personnel. We see good market opportunities in the city, where we have the confidence and preference of passengers.”
Viva Aerobus launched in 2006 with three aircraft at its hub at the Monterrey International Airport in Nuevo Léon. Since then, Cancún, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Tijuana have been added as home bases. VivaAerobus’ fleet has 62 aircraft.
“Adding Mérida as our sixth base of operations will not only help us meet our growth goals,” Zuazua said. “It will also boost tourism and economic development in the region.”
From January to July 2022, traffic to and from the Mérida airport increased by 52%, by more than 595,000 passengers in comparison to the same period in 2021. The airline currently flies seven routes into and out of MID.
Volaris and Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG) airlines also are continuing to expand their passenger service to Mérida, the ninth busiest airport in Mexico.
“Mérida continues to grow in importance both at the national and international level, and this reality is reflected in increasing investment in the entire state,” said Yucatán Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal, who attended last week’s announcement along with other dignitaries.
Mexico City International Airport (AICM) and Cancún International Airport hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots for the nation’s busiest airports.
Viva Aerobus serves 37 domestic destinations and international destinations in Colombia, Cuba and the United States, according to FlightConnections.com. Last week, the airline launched three new routes from Mexico City’s new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA): Puerto Escondido, Acapulco and Oaxaca.
That gives the new Mexico City airport around 132 weekly flights, excluding cargo flights.
In the Mexico City area alone, Viva Aerobus already operates a total of 511 weekly flights from the Mexico City International Airport AICM and the Felipe Angeles International Airport. It has plans to add routes from the region’s third airport, Toluca International Airport, in the fall.
However, plans to add seven new routes to and from the United States have been shelved because Mexico has been downgraded to Category 2 for air safety. Viva officials said they do not know if and when Category 1 will be restored.