I have just found out that Aeromar (VW) has started flights from Monterrey to Celaya 6 times a week.
A long time ago (when Pablo was still living in Celaya) there was a slight rumor that Celaya might start receiving commercial flights, but no one deemed it possible as it is really close from Querétaro (only 43 kms) and Bajío (108kms)
Today, Querétaro gets 3 daily flights from Monterrey: 2 Aeromar and 1 VivaAerobus and Bajío sees 6 daily incoming from MTY (5D 3, 6A 1, MX 1, Aerobús 1).
Celaya is a city of 310K inhabitants and close to other medium cities such as Salamanca (143K) and home to Bachoco HQ (2006 sales: US$1,3 billion). Something must be happening in this city as it has now 2 golf courses (not a normal feature in a Mexican city of this size) and new air services. I mean, something besides the Bribiesca affair.
Aerolitoral started flights to Nogales, Sonora (NOG). Flying 6 times a week, 5D will link this border city to Hermosillo, 255 kms apart. Nogales has grown notoriously due to "maquiladoras" and has always been hard to get into as there were no previous flights. It has 190K inhabitants.
In order to lure 5D to this station (which I have always thought was missing from its network), authorities offered:
a. Free use of operation services during the first year and 75% discount during second year.
b. 100 pesos discount on the TUA (Airport tax) per pax. The second year, discount will be 75 pesos.
c. Free use of fuel supply services (the service is free, not the fuel!).
I am sure, Celaya airport incentives were more or less the same. However, we've seen this story plenty of times before: once incentives finish, also commercial flights (think of Guerrero Negro, San Cristóbal de las Casas or Comitán).
I wish both Aeromar and Aerolitoral good luck, and I also hope Celaya and Nogales benefit from this new air services.
The same ad in El Norte, included new Aeromar services from MTY-MLM. What is the point in bringing a third flight to this route already served by Aviacsa and VivaAerobús with faster flights and very convenient schedules? (remember VW flies turboprops)
Finally, talking about NOG (a high altitude airport and very cold in winter) made me wonder about de-icing facilities in Mexico. Last week Pres Calderon could not land at SLW due to fog and ice conditions. In fact, the previous night there was a snowfall at SLW. Same happens with CJS and CUU which last week were under snow. Do they have de-icing facilities or maybe it is not really required?