Some very interesting observations made here. Let me add some points as well.
First of all, for going from TGU to MEX
(or about anywhere), it´s not that bad. You have the TA214 early morning hop to SAL, 0700-0745 which connects to TA
´s main departure bank. Hence, you´ll be in MEX
at about 1200 after 5 hours travel time.
The return is a bit more complicated, but still bearable too: you´ll route through GUA
and SAP, leaving at 1500, arriving at 2050, i.e. just shy of six hours.
So, O/D Honduras-MEX
and vice versa is not really a problem. However, the lack of a direct flight harms MEX
´s potential as a intercontinental hub. Many Hondurans have to avoid MIA
for connexions nowadays, due to the US´ restrictive visa policy. However, doing Honduras-Europe via MEX
results in an eight hour layover eastbound. And if you´re not on the IB
flight which arrives at MEX
in the early morning, you need to stay overnight.
I see a potential there, since I´ve personally seen Hondurans go to great lengths to avoid the US. For example, on the TA214 TGU-SAL I sat next to a lady who had to go to GVA
on short notice. Her routing was TGU-SAL-SJO
. Poor thing...
>>>From TGU you can go either on TACA or COPA. going to MEX
a better choice but on the way back COPA offers a faster connection.
How´s that? Because of the short layover (1035-1100) at PTY
, no reservation system will find a MEX
-TGU connexion on CM
. Or can an agent manually override this?
>>>Is Aerohonduras supposed to fly in a near future non stop to MEX
I´ve never seen any mention of this, just GUA
, MGA, PTY
. All ex SAP, fed from TGU via the old TGU-SAP-MIA
737 flight - with some very inconvenient connexion times.
>>>The entire problem at TGU is the runway. Not only is it short, but it is in a state of relative disrepair.
Hey, 6334 ft/ 1930 m is not that short
Seriously, though, it doesn´t seem to be in such a bad state.
>>>No aircraft can depart TGU for more than a 30-40 min flight plus reserves with full payload and get off the runway.
So how come TA
320s and AA
757s make it nonstop to MIA
? These flights are reasonably booked.
>>>However, the connecting time at SAL is quite long, which is why it is a 9 or 10 hour ordeal to get to MEX
Nope, see above.
>>>There is also no jet service between TGU and MGA now, so unless you want to fly a very small prop over the mountains between TGU and MGA, you have to go to SAL and connect.
... for a very convenient 2.30 hours total travel time.
>>>However, once you get to TGU, you fly one or two circuits of the airport to visually inspect conditions. Security there is not the best and you do get the occasional goat, chicken or yes, even a cow, that strays onto the runway.
Don´t know, this might have been the case 20 years ago, but nowadays you won´t find a goat, chicken or cow anywhere near the airport, let alone on the runway.
Also, the "circuits to visually inspect conditions" just the normal approach paths. You come from the North, fly parallel to the runway, do two 90 degree turns and land on runway 01. That´s owed to the mountains, not animals...
>>>That airport is an accident waiting to happen
No it´s not. The last passenger airliner to crash at TGU was in 1989.
>>>people from TGU can drive to San Pedro Sula
>>>Checo, driving between Tegu and SPS
is not really an option for most travellers.
Yes and no. It certainly is a pain, but people do it on a regular basis. The multiple Hedman luxury bus departures are well booked.
>>>The terrain between Tegu and SPS
is very rugged and honduran drivers are an absolute nightmare. Never in my life have I seen three buses all trying to pass each other on winding mountain roads. Absolute madness.
Been there, done that. And the next day, you´ll get the pics of all the accident victims in gory graphic details on TVC
and the newspapers. Terrible.
>>>I spent a summer living in Comayagua, which is about a third of the way from Tegu to SPS
Oh, poor chap. I spent an afternoon there. After maybe half an hour my pals and me were like "so, we heading back or what?"
>>> I had some interesting flying experiences in Honduras as well, aside from the spectacular landing at TGU. Took my first ATR flight with Taca from TGU to La Ceiba, then switched over to a Czech made aircraft with Islena airlines (don't remember the type) for a flight from there to Guanaja,
That would have been the Let 410 Turbolet. Islena don´t operate that type any more, they just have ATR42, Shorts 360, Cessna 208.
>>>The flight back from Guanaja to La Ceiba was in a single-engine Cessna (was about an eight-seater as I recall).
Yup, the 208 Grand Caravan.
>>> a takeoff from La Ceiba is a marvel as well...very steep climbout over the coastal mountain range
Agree, just great, the mountain range with Pico Bonito et al on one side, the Atlantic on the other one. Very scenic.