Jonathan J. Higuera
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 15, 2004 11:45 AM
A highly touted America West Airlines flight connecting Phoenix with the Mexican industrial city Monterrey will be eliminated unless passenger traffic picks up, America West officials said.
The daily flight has been losing in the six figures every month since it started last October, said C.A. Howlett, the airline's senior vice president of public affairs.
"Unfortunately, Monterrey is on life support right now," he said. "It's largely dependent on business travel and there doesn't seem to be enough of it. The route is not ramping up."
State officials and others have cited the flight as an important link in the state's expanded international trade strategy. The 50-passenger regional jet is operated by Mesa Air Group under the America West banner.
America West officials have been discussing the situation with Gov. Janet Napolitano as well as officials at Sky Harbor International Airport and in Monterrey.
"We're seeing what we can done to stimulate business," Howlett said. "If not, we'll have to make a classical business decision."
Unlike most of the other Mexican cities America West flies to, the Monterrey flight does not attract many leisure travelers. The city is roughly 400 miles south of Laredo, Texas.
"We're in 12 cities in Mexico and one in Central America, with only one not working," Howlett said. "I wouldn't want to leave the impression there is not good business in Mexico just because it's not working out in Monterrey." >>
America West is using CRJ900's in this PHX-MTY route.
Photo © Brian Bartlett