- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Tocumen International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Pedro Heilbron
On Monday, the Dominican startup Arajet announced the destinations it will serve from Santo Domingo Las Américas International Airport (SDQ). One of these is Mexico City’s new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU). This route, ready to be served on September 22, will mark the entrance of the third international operator in the new airport, joining Conviasa and Copa Airlines.
The new kid in the block
A few months ago, the Arajet management met with Mexican authorities to discuss the possibility of launching new routes to this country. The airline startup, set to begin operations in mid-September with a fleet of four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, then announced three destinations in Mexico: Cancún, Monterrey, and Mexico City.
This is Arajet’s route map. Photo: Arajet.
Nonetheless, instead of flying to the saturated Mexico City Benito Juárez International (MEX), Arajet agreed to fly to the recently inaugurated Felipe Ángeles International Airport, located north of Mexico City. This route will have three weekly operations on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It will be somewhat of an uncontested route: Aeromexico already flies daily between Mexico City and Santo Domingo but does it from MEX rather than NLU. The other two routes offered by Arajet to Monterrey and Cancún are wholly uncontested.
Once Arajet launches its route to Mexico City, it will become the newest international operator in NLU, a hub that has not taken off despite the heavy promotion from the Mexican government. As of August 2022, the airport has 50 weekly flights operated by four airlines, Aeromexico, Conviasa, Viva Aerobus, and Volaris.
As of August, Conviasa is the only international operator at Mexico City’s NLU. Photo: Getty Images.
International connectivity at NLU
Arajet became the third non-Mexican airline to announce a new international route to the Felipe Ángeles International Airport. As stated before, Conviasa is already a player in the airport, operating one flight per week to Caracas. In June, Copa Airlines announced it would also launch flights to NLU. On September 26, the airline will begin flying between Tocumen International Airport (PTY) and NLU, operating three weekly flights on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
By October, NLU will have 14 weekly international flights, adding the daily service Viva Aerobus intends to launch to Havana (HAV). NLU will have:
- Arajet: three flights per week to Santo Domingo (Monday, Thursday, Saturday).
- Conviasa: one flight per week to Caracas (Wednesday).
- Copa Airlines: three flights per week to Panama City (Monday, Thursday, Saturday).
- Viva Aerobus: daily flights to Havana.
Copa Airlines will launch its route to NLU on September 26. Photo: Getty Images.
While NLU is far from being the international hub the Mexican government would like it to be, it is definitely great news the addition of these new international routes. The flights to Havana and Caracas will serve a point-to-point route exclusively without the possibility of adding too much connectivity after that (beyond other destinations in Venezuela and Cuba operated by local carriers).
Nonetheless, the routes to Santo Domingo, and particularly to Panama City, are great additions in terms of extended connectivity. Arajet has officially announced 13 new destinations in nine countries in the Americas. Someone flying from Mexico City to Santo Domingo will have the possibility of connecting to certain destinations, mainly in the Caribbean, such as St. Maarten, Aruba, Curazao, Kingston, and Barranquilla (Colombia).
Copa Airlines will be the most important entry player for the new airport. The Panamanian flag carrier will strengthen the overall connectivity of the hub, as it operates around 1,000 weekly flights from Tocumen to 72 destinations across the Americas.
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