Merida’s international airport’s pickup and dropoff lanes are packed on a recent late afternoon. Photo: Lee Steele

Merida, Yucatan — The international airport handled 14 percent more travelers in 2018, setting new record for the year, management announced.

The destinations most in demand this year were Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. Miami, Houston and Havana were top foreign routes.

Óscar Felipe Carrillo Maldonado, administrator of the air terminal, indicated that 2018 was a very good year.

“We have a sustained growth of 14% in relation to the last period, say from January to November,” he said.

The executive said that since October, more than 200,000 passengers have used the airport each month. By the end of the year, the passenger total should be around 2.4 million.

Last year there were 2.17 million passengers, he said.

New routes this year incude Merida-Queretaro, operated by TAR Airlines; Tuxtla Gutiérrez, with Viva Aerobus, and Mérida-Bajío, with Volaris.

On Saturday the Mérida-Villahermosa route was initiated by Viva Aerobus.

Larger airplanes headed to Mexico City and Monterrey were packed, he said.

Although a route was lost this year with Aeromexico, the other companies that have the same route increased seats or brought larger planes to meet passenger demand.

Every Friday is almost impossible to get a ticket from Mexico City to Merida, said the airport’s manager. The same happens Monday morning when flyers compete for return seats.

Mérida is connected to 10 national destinations: Mexico City, Monterrey, Villahermosa, Veracruz, Cancun, Cozumel, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Guadalajara, Querétaro and El Bajío. It maintains international connections in direct flights to Miami, Houston, Havana and Toronto.

Eighteen airlines operate in the terminal, including Aeromexico, Aeromexico Connect, American Airlines, InterJet, Magnicharters, Maya Air, TAR Airlines, United Airlines, Viva Aerobus, Volaris and West Jet.

The others are MCS, TSM Aircraft, Amerijet, Aerounion, Estafeta and Gulf & Caribbean, all exclusive cargo lines.

From January to October, there were 41,471 cargo flights, of which 93 percent were national.

The state Ministry of Tourism announced that by 2019 the new routes linking us to Tijuana, Chihuahua, Hermosillo and Oaxaca will be important flights to Merida. Many travelers go to Tijuana to cross the border.

During this same period, 16,888 tons of cargo were transported by air, of which 69 percent went to domestic destinations and 31 percent headed to international destinations.

Source: Sipse

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