JetBlue Cancels All Flights To Mexico City

Filed Under: JetBlue

Mexico City is a market that on the surface you’d think airlines would do well in. Mexico City has a massive population, it’s becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, and it has a fair amount of business demand.

Unfortunately for some US airlines, Mexico City seems to be a huge money-loser. For example:

Now a third airline is following their lead.

JetBlue Ending Flights To Mexico City

JetBlue will be discontinuing all flights to Mexico City as of January 9, 2020. The airline currently operates daily flights to Mexico City with A320s out of Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York JFK, and Orlando.

JetBlue started flying to Mexico City in 2015, though initially the airline had very unfavorable slots. Then in 2017 the airline got better slots because of the joint venture between Aeromexico and Delta, where the airline had to give up some favorable slots.

As far as these four markets go:

  • JetBlue is the only airline to fly from Boston to Mexico City
  • JetBlue is the only airline to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Mexico City
  • Between Orlando and Mexico City, JetBlue competes with Aeromexico, Interjet, and Volaris
  • Between New York and Mexico City, JetBlue competes with Aeromexico, Delta, Interjet, and VivaAerobus

Why Couldn’t JetBlue Make Mexico City Work?

So, why couldn’t JetBlue make this route work, in spite of them having markets like Boston to Mexico City to themselves?

First of all, nowadays the US to Mexico market is fiercely competitive:

  • Aeromexico and Delta have a strong joint venture
  • There has been huge growth among Mexican low cost carriers

Aeromexico and Delta have a strong joint venture

Beyond that, one of the biggest issues seems to come down to a majority of the demand for travel between the US and Mexico City being on the Mexico side. Consumers in Mexico City are much more likely to choose a “local” airline, not just due to preference, but also due to their sales methods.

For example, Aeromexico has quite a few traditional travel agencies in Mexico City where you can book tickets, while JetBlue doesn’t.

Lastly, perhaps the other issue here is that much of the lucrative demand from the US to Mexico City is business travel, and JetBlue has flown these routes without Mint-configured planes. Without a business class cabin they probably missed out on a lot of premium demand.

JetBlue never flew Mint-configured planes to Mexico City

Then again, from JetBlue’s perspective I’m sure there are more lucrative places they could have deployed those planes.

Bottom Line

We’ve now seen Alaska, Southwest, and JetBlue, end operations to Mexico City. It’s interesting to see how these airlines aren’t able to make Mexico City work, especially when you consider that JetBlue had two markets all to themselves.

It seems that the demand simply isn’t there on the US-side, and I suspect the strength of the Aeromexico and Delta joint venture, as well as the growth of low cost carriers in Mexico, most definitely didn’t help.

What do you make of JetBlue pulling out of Mexico City?

Comments
  1. The travel agency argument is creative but I am not sure it holds much water. Aeromexico operated BOS-MEX for a year before bowing out and they are obviously bookable through Mexican travel agencies.

    From the Mexican perspective this route is highly seasonal, with lots of demand driven by Mexican students attending New England schools and colleges.

    From the US perspective Americans do not look at MEX as a hub to other Mexican destinations and I can’t say I blame them as navigating the airport is not fun. Also, Jet Blue did not have an alliance with any Mexican airline so this flight did not have feeder potential.

    Hopefully Delta will take this route on as part of their growth in Boston.

  2. Does anyone else suspect Trump was behind the decision to pull out of this market? It could be considered a hate crime.

  3. I think majority of American tourists go to Cancun and other beach destinations in Mexico…for those types of vacations (beach) changing airports and taking connecting flights are not ideal steps…so Mexico City was never a convenient place for that contingent…for me – no surprise here at all

  4. >JetBlue will be discontinuing all flights to Mexico City as of January 9, 2020.

    Who in their right mind would fly internationally on an airline managed by Ben Baldanza?

  5. One would think they’d serve a different destination in Mexico, such as JFK-PVR (for which there is no competition).

  6. … things would it be much better flying from LAX, Las Vegas or even Long Beach where Jetblue has a strong presence.

  7. Mexico City is easily the most interesting and exciting big city in the Western Hemisphere. A pity that selfish, anti-competitive, and ruthless Delta is destroying a competitive marketplace for flights to the city — remember that Southwest pulled out of Mexico City last year.

    Delta needs to be held accountable for its grotesque anti-competitive behavior. Enough is enough.

  8. I do see Spirit jumping on the MCO-MEX route very soon. Their LLC model could compete unlike Jet Blue with Volaris and Interjet on this route.

  9. @FERNANDO BARRAGAN

    Spirit will not be flying to Mexico City again any time soon. MCO-MEX is probably the worst route for a US carrier to attempt as 90+% of the traffic is Mexican point-of-sale.

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