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Buenas dias everyone,
It looks like Santa has been talking to the folks at Alaska Airlines, because the first wish on my travel hacker wish list was granted today: Alaska Awhirlines announced that the US Department of Transportation has granted them tentative approval to operate four flights a day to Mexico City starting this summer!
Alaska has not released its schedules yet, but they said there will be two flights a day from Los Angeles, one from San Diego, and one from San Francisco, operated by Boeing 737 and Embraer 175 aircraft. (I’m guessing the regional jet will be on the San Diego flights, but all three destinations are within the range of Alaska’s E175s, so we’ll see what happens).
The destinations certainly make sense given Alaska’s focus on California with the Virgin America merger, though they may be in for some serious competition, especially in Los Angeles: there are already 13 flights a day between LAX and Mexico City on Aeromexico, American, Interjet, United, and Volaris, and the DOT has approved an additional 4 flights a day on JetBlue, Southwest, and Volaris. San Francisco only has 4-6 flights a day (Aeromexico, United, and Volaris), and there are actually no nonstop flights from San Diego to Mexico City – but that’s because there are 17 domestic flights a day from Tijuana, just across the border, with prices starting as low as $33 one way on VivaAerobus. I’m guessing some of the Aeromexico flights might be going away though – Alaska is able to get these flights because of the 24 Mexico City slots Aeromexico and Delta have to give up as part of their joint venture agreement, and some of those may be at SFO or LAX.
I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for these flight schedules to be released, because I’d love to be on one of those inaugural flights. Are you as excited about this development as I am? Will these flights make you more likely to visit Mexico City? Let me know in the comments.
Edit: A reader pointed me to this USA Today article listing the full proposed slot allocations from the DOT. I’ve updated the list of Los Angeles flights accordingly.