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MAR - Another New CM Destination?  
User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2314 times:

Something strange happened to me on Saturday, when I phoned CM Reservations telephone number in PTY, the message one hears while waiting fot the operator not only mentioned the 5 announced new destinations for this year (MAO, SAP, MVD, STI and POS) but included MAR - Maracaibo, Venezuela. However, There's nothing on CM's website on flights to MAR.
MAR is a destination which has been praying for international service for years, if it's true CM is to fly overthere, their prayers have been heard.
I would expect a possible CM MAR flight to have inmediate connections with CO IAH-PTY-IAH flights.


I don't work for COPA Airlines!
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2249 times:

Quoting 2travel2know (Thread starter):
MAR is a destination which has been praying for international service for years, if it's true CM is to fly overthere, their prayers have been heard.

This sounds a bit exaggerated. But the launch of a PTY-MAR service by Copa has been indeed mentioned in this forum ever since the company announced the purchase of the E-190s. It's great to see it materialise, and quite encouraging to see that our discussions are not so off-the-mark after all.

Anyway, effective July 24, Copa will operate flights to Maracaibo under the following schedule:

CM717 PTY-MAR 1958-2230 E90
CM716 MAR-PTY 0835-0915 E90

The aircraft will obviously overnight in MAR. The service will be operated on a 6x-weekly basis, at least initially.


SOUTHAMERICA


User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4395 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 2226 times:

Nice! MAR is in dire need of international service. They only get flights to MIA, CUC, BAQ, CTG and BOG!

User currently offlineSOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 2219 times:

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 2):
They only get flights to MIA, CUC, BAQ, CTG and BOG!

They have nonstops to Aruba as well.


S.


User currently offlineAndahuailas From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 2209 times:

when are the flights to SAP scheduled to start. I couldn't find them in the reservation systems

User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 11 hours ago) and read 2162 times:

So it's actually true, not my imagination, and for all those oil businesspeople it'll immediate connections to/from IAH.
SAP flights are due to start late this year, something was said about CM returning to SAP last year, but I think other destinations or additional flights took precedence over that SAP service.



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineCivilav From Mexico, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 1 hour ago) and read 2090 times:

Quoting SOUTHAMERICA (Reply 1):
This sounds a bit exaggerated

No SouthAmerica.. it is not exaggerated.
Maracaibo is a city with a population close to 2 million and has extraordinarily poor international connections.
Most of it is the blame of the extraordinary mentality of most governments in Venezuela which only think of Caracas.

I have posted in this forum that, in April 1974, Iberia got permission from the outgoing Caldera administration (1969-74) to operate a weekly Madrid-San Juan-Maracaibo-Bogota-Quito flight and it barely lasted 7weeks as the new government cancelled the 5th Freedom rights Iberia had on the grounds of "protection for Viasa". The immediate losers were customers in Maracaibo.

Let me just tell what the picture was in 1967, just to give you an idea of what things were like when the town barely had a population of fewer than 400,000 souls and its old "Grano de Oro" airport a runway barely 2000 metres long:

San Francisco-Los Angeles-Guatemala-Panama-Barranquilla-Maracaibo-Caracas by PanAm twice a week (Boeing 720B)
Miami-Panama-Maracaibo by PanAm 5 times a week (Boeing 727-100)
Miami-Kingston-Maracaibo by PanAm twice a week (Boeing 727-100)
San Jose-Panama-Barranquilla-Maracaibo-Caracas daily with PAISA (DC-9-15)
Miami-Maracaibo-Iquitos-Lima by COPISA twice a week (L. Constellation)
Caracas-Maracaibo-Panama-Mexico weekly by VIASA (C. 880-22M)
Caracas-Maracaibo-Miami thrice a week by VIASA (C. 880-22M)
Caracas-Maracaibo-Curacao-Santo Domingo twice a week by VIASA (C.880)
Caracas-Maracaibo-M. Bay-N. Orleans by VIASA twice a week (C. 880-22M)
Maracaibo-Curacao twice a week by LAV (Vickers Viscount)
Maracaibo-Aruba twice a week by LAV (Vickers Viscount)
Curacao-Aruba-Maracaibo 4 times a week by ALM (Convair 440/F27)

Really and honestly, Maracaibo's airport, as far as its international capacity is concerned is a real white elephant. Indeed, Caujarito airport (christened La Chinita) was opened officially on November 18, 1969 and, since then, NO single major expansion of its main terminal has been necessary. It has seen the enlargement of the international departure and arrivals area and the baggage claim are on the domestic part of the terminal.. minimal expansion in a period almost spanning 40 years... Now, I ask you, which airport in the world is built with a capacity to last that many years without a single major improvement ? Traffic figures are indeed stagnant and are even below their peak in the late 1970s.

I do hope COPA helps a lot to bring back the traffic lost. Welcome to Maracaibo COPA !!


User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months ago) and read 2059 times:

I lived in Maracaibo for a year and loved it. Good for MAR !!!

I would love a quicker connection into IAH from PTY --if non-stop doesn't ever happen.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Hermano bebe, que la vida es breve


User currently offlineSOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months ago) and read 2055 times:

Quoting Civilav (Reply 6):

I really appreciate the careful elaboration and valuable data of your post Hernán, and I do agree with it to some extent. Nonetheless, I would like to discuss a couple of points.

As much as you know of Maracaibo's historic loss and current lack of international service, I expect you to be aware that the city's case is just one within numerous similar cases shared by other countries.

To illustrate, I'll use a pertinent coincidence, and will not go too far. Medellin, a metropolitan area with a population base of more than 3 million inhabitants, booming industry, Colombian and Latin American pioneer in providing best-quality public services, developing technologies in telecommunications and fashion-textiles capital city of the country, can testify that barely 6 daily international flights depart from its airport.

For starters, two daily runs to Miami, and there's no difference with Maracaibo until there. Two dailies to Panama City for obvious commercial and historical ties, not forgetting that one of them was barely launched 6 months ago and is performing below reasonably expected numbers. One daily flight to New York shared with Cali; and the cherry-on-top, the recently-launched nonstop flight to Caracas by Aeropostal, that was supposed to start no less than five years ago.

The airport was opened in 1985 as a reliever for the old air-terminal, but since then it has been pretty much a ghost town, with one or two Bogota-bound aircraft from time-to-time during the day. No, really, it is eye-catching to discover that almost 65% of the monthly travelers that use MDE are either coming or headed to Bogota.

There's no need for another example to make my point, but if you wish to take Cali, for instance, the situation is no different.

As you correctly mention, secondary cities in Venezuela and Colombia are sure paying the price of a centralization around its capital cities. But that's the way it is, and hubbing is the formula that has made our airlines believe that making a dime under the current environment is still possible. I would love to see Avianca taking a hand full of jets and considering Medellin to place them, but it probably won't happen in the near-term, and even if the idea is not so wild, it imposes a much higher financial risk than to simply continue hubbing in Bogota.

So what's more left than to enjoy the possibility of having one or two dedicated international services as the added value for being a relatively important city, and to connect through the main hub in most cases, even if it means the unwanted burden of having to geographically backtrack in order to reach the final destination?.

Is the situation so extreme to make you pray for it? It depends. Maybe in a tourist-dependant city where resident literally need air-service to drag more people and full-pockets, I would understand it. But from then on, I see it as a luxury many would prefer over making a connection.

Of course, additional international service is always welcomed, as almost always there's more investment, tourism and employment coming with it. I hope people in Maracaibo now start praying that the flight will perform up to Copa's expectations.  



SOUTHAMERICA




[Edited 2006-05-03 05:08:15]

User currently offlineLuisde8cd From Pitcairn Islands, joined Aug 2004, 2575 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2012 times:

Quoting SOUTHAMERICA (Reply 1):
This sounds a bit exaggerated. But the launch of a PTY-MAR service by Copa has been indeed mentioned in this forum ever since the company announced the purchase of the E-190s. It's great to see it materialise, and quite encouraging to see that our discussions are not so off-the-mark after all.

Maybe COPA's management guys were reading our threads in a.net  Smile
SA, Maracaibo as you know is Venezuela's most important city after Caracas and its the capital of the oil rich state of Zulia. Maracaibo population alongisde the population living on the other side of Maracaibo Lake (Costa oriental del lago) almost reach 3 million. Middle class is strong in Maracaibo and its surroundings, they can afford to travel. Most Maracuchos prefer to go to Aruba than to Margarita Island for example, even if it costs three times as much.

AA recently upgraded MAR to daily 757 in order to keep up with the demand. VH has plans to fly MAR-IAH by years's end now that we are CAT 1. Many pax flying CO's CCS-IAH are connecting from MAR. If I lived in Maracaibo I would prefer to connect in PTY than CCS. Domestic-International connections in CCS are a nightmare.

This is excellent news for Maracaibo. This will be the first Embraer airliner landing in Venezuelan soil. I hope MAR spotters can bring us the pics of this nice bird as soon as it gets here.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis


User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1987 times:

If CM does well on the MAR route, CM might even use a B737-800 - if they've it available - one of those days Venezuelans tend to travel away like crayze.
If CM does verywell in MAR, Do Venezuelans think that Valencia - with or without Barquisimeto - and other Venezuelan destinations (thinking of PMV, Barcelona and Puerto Ordaz) could support a PTY flight, even if 3 times per week?
Anyhow, Is MAR Airport attractive for passengers from/to Barquisimeto flying international?



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1963 times:

Good News for CM

Quoting Andahuailas (Reply 4):
when are the flights to SAP scheduled to start. I couldn't find them in the reservation systems

The direct PTY-SAP will operate daily starting November 13th


User currently offlineLuisde8cd From Pitcairn Islands, joined Aug 2004, 2575 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 10):
If CM does verywell in MAR, Do Venezuelans think that Valencia - with or without Barquisimeto - and other Venezuelan destinations (thinking of PMV, Barcelona and Puerto Ordaz) could support a PTY flight, even if 3 times per week?

I don't think so. Aserca will fly nonstop to MIA from those cities. MIA is where most Venezuelans are headed. If those pax take the nonstop, I don't think there are enough pax for other connections in PTY.

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 10):

Anyhow, Is MAR Airport attractive for passengers from/to Barquisimeto flying international?

I don't remember La Chinita's airport layout. Maybe Hernan can shed some light here. Can you take a domestic-international connection without leaving the terminal like in CCS?.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis


User currently offlineCCSLSP From Venezuela, joined Apr 2006, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 10):
If CM does well on the MAR route, CM might even use a B737-800 - if they've it available - one of those days Venezuelans tend to travel away like crayze.
If CM does verywell in MAR, Do Venezuelans think that Valencia - with or without Barquisimeto - and other Venezuelan destinations (thinking of PMV, Barcelona and Puerto Ordaz) could support a PTY flight, even if 3 times per week?

I think that Maracaibo and Caracas are the only cities in Venezuela that can handle a Copa service right now, maybe Valencia can make it work too.... About upgrading to 737-800 I don't really see that happening any time soon maybe later....
Still good news for MAR

[Edited 2006-05-04 01:16:36]


Planes are soooo sexy, that I dont want to have sex in a plane, but with a plane...!!!!!
User currently offlineCivilav From Mexico, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1852 times:

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 12):
Can you take a domestic-international connection without leaving the terminal like in CCS?.

Yes Luis.. it is just a short walk. The airport was built (under strict ICAO supervision) so that it could handle domestic and international traffic within a single compound under one roof so to speak.

Runway alignment is north to south (02-20) and the main terminal building then has like two "fingers", the northern one is the international area and the southern one the domestic one.
The domestic side has 6 gates (not a single one has been added in 37 years since it was inaugurated !!) 4 of which with airbridges which were a facility added in 1996.
The international section has two gates (with air bridges too) which stand empty like 12 hours every day !!

If COPA does things cleverly, they will attract plenty of customers from Maracaibo and adjacent regions to markets in the USA and South America. For all those people in Maracaibo sick of having to transit through Caracas to fly to Santo Domingo, for instance, this is a very convenient route. Ditto for Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. COPA's hub in Panama is very well thought out (I really admire the concept and praise Panamanians for their creativity) and extraordinarily well run.

Hope that info helps Luis !

Greetings from Cancún


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