United Air Trims Mexico Flights on `Unsustainable' Weak Demand
(Bloomberg) -- United Continental Holdings Inc. is chopping flights between the U.S. and Mexico, saying travel demand has waned.
Service between Los Angeles and Mexico City will end Oct. 4, the airline said Thursday by email. United also will halt flights this summer from the U.S. to the Pacific beach resorts of Huatulco and Mazatlan, and to the Gulf Coast oil town of Villahermosa.
“While our Mexico network remains strong, customer demand on certain routes has declined and service to some markets is unsustainable,” United said. “We continue to closely monitor demand for travel in the region and look for new flying opportunities for our customers.”
United is stepping back from Mexico as Delta Air Lines Inc. marks the one-year anniversary of an alliance with Grupo Aeromexico SAB that allows the carriers to jointly plan schedules and set fares on 1,100 weekly flights. Delta also holds a 49 percent stake in Aeromexico.
United said it remains committed to Mexico and has doubled capacity between the two nations over the past decade.
Still, a Saturday flight between Mexico City and Denver will cease June 23, and service between Houston and Mexico City will be cut by one frequency. United will drop two daily flights between Los Angeles and Leon/Guanajuato in October.
United was little changed at $66.02 at the close of trading in New York. The shares have fallen 2 percent this year, the best performance in an index of five major U.S. carriers.
United is beefing up in a few areas. Starting Oct. 4, it will fly between its hub in Newark, New Jersey, and Mexico City three times a day, up from twice now. It’s also adding a route connecting Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with Leon/Guanajuato.
The airline will increase service to four times a day between Houston and Queretaro, and on Dec. 19 will begin flying a 76-seat aircraft between the Texas city and San Luis Potosi instead of a 50-seat regional jet.
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