Unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon unless new competitors jump in... they only possible option I could think of will be the new Mexican start-up Vuela with Slim, Televisa and TA Group behind.
Ricardo Morales - flyAPM - ¡No es que maneje rapido, solo estoy volando lento!
IBERIA747 From Spain, joined Aug 2003, 1825 posts, RR: 61 Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1782 times:
I still remember when KLM used to fly the AMS-MEX-GUA-MEX-AMS route (currently AMS-MEX-AMS) with the 744.
KLM was already flying AMS-MEX-AMS but they added the extension to GUA since the DC-10 flights to GUA from AMS via the Caribbean had been cancelled due to the DC10's retirement.
The flights started with only 2 weekly frequencies since KLM didn't have local traffic rights for the MEX-GUA-MEX legs. The 744s used for the route were Combis (about 290 seats).
After some time, KLM announced that they had obtained those traffic rights and immediately started selling tickets for MEX-GUA-MEX flights and added a third weekly flight, being this new frequency operated with a 744 featuring an all-passenger cabin (428 seats by then).
Their results were excellent, and after some more time they had 5 weekly flights to GUA, 3 of them operated with 744 Combi and the remaining 2 operated with all-pax 744s.
While this happened, Mexicana had downgraded ther equipment on some of the MEX-GUA-MEX flights from B727 to F100 and KLM was also taking the cake on the Cargo area.
When I arrived to GUA in the mid 90s I flew KLM on this route a lot, and the loads on the MEX-GUA flights were always good...about 75% of the seats were occupied which is not bad at all for a 428-seat 747-400 (yes, I always selected the dates when the full-pax 744 were used since I didn't like the Combi's "shortened cabin").
During this time of great success, KLM also started to offer excellent fares on those flights, with some special offers of $99,00 round trip while MX was charging more than $300,00. Mexicana started offering better fares later, but never matched KLM's fares, and of course, people preferred to fly on the huge 744 (In fact this was the most important motto for KLM's advertising campaigns to promote the flights).
What happened then? Well...the Mexican government cancelled the traffic rights for KLM on the GUA flights and only let them carry freight with some restrictions.
The first thing KLM did was to change their equipment and operate the GUA flights only with Combi aircraft (bye bye to the 428-seater). The passenger loads dropped dramatically, and I still remember that during one of my last flights on that route we had departed AMS with a full pax load for the flight to MEX, and for the MEX-GUA leg there were only 28 passengers on board...of course all of them coming from AMS, me included.
And finally, after some time, KLM decided to drop the route and stay only with the AMS-MEX-AMS flights, which has always been a succesful route AFAIK.
This was the end for KLM's pressence in GUA, which had started back in 1976 with DC-10 flights.
Rojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 10 Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1731 times:
Quoting Anthsaun (Reply 1): Good for MX, but they used to send a DC10 all packed up years ago. Too bad they use the small ones now (even if 3 small ones make a big one).
Much better to send 3 small buses, since schedules for the DC10 were quite bad for us, business travelers. I would hate to come back from Guatemala at 7am because MX only has 1 daily flight. Now we have
I wonder if TA will react to this and offer a second daily flight to get more business travelers, since their schedules are quite bad! Hope to see fares go down once more (like 5 months ago when Tikal Jets made everyone drop their fares to US$200 round trip all in).
IBERIA747 From Spain, joined Aug 2003, 1825 posts, RR: 61 Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1736 times:
Quoting Marcos (Reply 6): It must have been scary as heck landing and taking-off in a B-747 on Guatemala City's tiny, short runway.
Not that much. GUA's rwy 01-19 is not exactly tiny. It has a length of about 3000 meters, which is about 9800ft.
In fact, KLM's 744s were not the only 747s operating to GUA. During the 70s Pan Am operated quite few of their 747s to GUA and you could even see 2 of them parked there at the same time along with IB's and KL's DC-10s. In the early-mid 80s Iberia replaced the DC-10 with the 742 on the GUA flights (went back to the DC10 after a few years and until the MIA hub was opened), and currently there are a few cargo operators that fly the 747 to GUA.
The USAF C-5 Galaxys are also frequent visitors to GUA, and the An-124 also lands there from time to time.
Also, Iberia currently operates the A340-300 to GUA. Oh and I forgot!! for those who are in Guatemala, next tuesday, October 25th IB will send an A340-600 to GUA, carrying 50,000 Kg of aid for the victims of hurricane Stan, so take your cameras and go there!!.
I flew KLM on the GUA-MEX-AMS-MEX-GUA route about 10 times and the 744 never had any problems to take off from there. It only used a bit more than 50% of the runway to get airborne, looking even more powerful in that aspect than the A320s and other smaller aircraft that fly there...remember that it was just flying to MEX which is less than 2 hours away.
Of course, GUA's rwy is not appropriate for vey heavy take offs due to it's altitude (5000ft).
A fully loaded B747, A340, B767, DC10, MD11, B777 would have SERIOUS problems trying to take off from there in those conditions.
GUA airport may not be a big one, but it's quite decent. I hope I'll have the chance to go there in December for a couple of weeks, as I have great friends and great memories of the time I lived in "The land of eternal spring".
Oh and btw...in case I finally go, I will have to spend about 8 hours in Mexico City airport. The reason?...well...there's no way to find available seats on the nonstop A343 flights to GUA from MAD, so I have to look for other options, and this one seems to be appropriate. I would arrive to MEX at about 7:00am and would depart to GUA at around 15:00 on a Taca flight. Would be nice to meet some of our Mexican friends, of course, depending on the day of the trip as they could be working!!
When I was in Guatemala over the summer, the 2 pm flight was actually operated with A318 most of the time. It was nice seeing the babybus flying. Do you know what are the arrival and departure times for the new Mexicana flight? Also, are there any chances Tikal Jets might restart this route?
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7431 posts, RR: 44 Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1701 times:
Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 9): Oh and btw...in case I finally go, I will have to spend about 8 hours in Mexico City airport. The reason?...well...there's no way to find available seats on the nonstop A343 flights to GUA from MAD, so I have to look for other options, and this one seems to be appropriate. I would arrive to MEX at about 7:00am and would depart to GUA at around 15:00 on a Taca flight. Would be nice to meet some of our Mexican friends, of course, depending on the day of the trip as they could be working!!
Juanchito From Guatemala, joined Nov 2000, 1125 posts, RR: 10 Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1611 times:
Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 9): Also, Iberia currently operates the A340-300 to GUA. Oh and I forgot!! for those who are in Guatemala, next tuesday, October 25th IB will send an A340-600 to GUA, carrying 50,000 Kg of aid for the victims of hurricane Stan, so take your cameras and go there!!.
I won't be able to go take some pictures, I will be in Panama working. Maybe next time.