Canadian carrier Air Canada is predicting a 36% increase in its passenger carrying capacity between Mexico and Canada this year, the company’s general manager for Mexico said this week.
Luis Noriega told a press conference that the outlook for 2018 is considerably better than the growth rates the airline achieved in both 2016 and 2017, when the number of flights between the two countries increased by 19% and 13% respectively.
To achieve the 36% projected increase, the company will need to operate a total of 6,402 flights between Mexico and Canada in 2018, an average of about 17.5 flights per day.
The opening of a seasonal route between Mexico City and Montreal — operating between March 28 and November 2 — for the fourth consecutive year will help boost the overall number of flights, as will additional services to destinations including Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Cancún and Ixtapa.
Air Canada is expected to increase its frequency to the popular resort cities in October when a renovated fleet of Boeing 747s comes online. An additional service between Mexico City and Vancouver is also scheduled to begin on May 1.
Strong projected growth in the domestic market is expected after a record number of over 358,000 Mexicans traveled to Canada last year, Noriega said.
He explained that the removal of the visa requirement for Mexican travelers as well as increased interest from small and medium-sized Mexican companies in doing business in Canada were factors that contributed to the increase.
For Canadian citizens, Mexico continues to be the second most popular international tourism destination, Noriega said, adding that the appreciation of the Canadian dollar against the Mexican peso has further boosted visitor numbers.
Two million Canadians visited Mexico last year, he explained.
Another Canadian carrier, WestJet, began operating non-stop flights to Mexico City from the Canadian cities of Calgary and Vancouver last month, and low-cost carrier Sunwing Airlines also introduced new seasonal services in January from Montreal and Toronto to Acapulco.