- IATA/ICAO code:
- Airline type:
- Full service carrier
- Tocumen International Airport
- Year of foundation:
- star alliance
- Pedro Heilbron
On Monday, Dominican startup Arajet announced the destinations it will serve from Santo Domingo Las Américas International Airport (SDQ). One of them is the new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU) in Mexico City. This line, ready for service on September 22, will mark the entry of the third international operator into the new airport, joining Conviasa and Copa Airlines.
The new kid on the block
A few months ago, Arajet management met with Mexican authorities to discuss the possibility of launching new routes to that country. The airline startup, which is expected to begin operations in mid-September with a fleet of four Boeing 737 MAXs, then announced three destinations in Mexico: Cancún, Monterrey and Mexico City.
Here is Arajet’s roadmap. Photo: Arajet.
However, instead of flying to the saturated Mexico City Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX), Arajet agreed to fly to the recently opened Felipe Ángeles International Airport, located north of Mexico City. This route will have three weekly operations on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It will be somewhat of an undisputed route: Aeromexico already flies daily between Mexico City and Santo Domingo but does so from MEX rather than NLU. The other two routes offered by Arajet to Monterrey and Cancún are totally uncontested.
Once Arajet launches its route to Mexico City, it will become the newest international operator for NLU, a hub that hasn’t taken off despite strong promotion from the Mexican government. As of August 2022, the airport has had 50 weekly flights operated by four airlines, Aeromexico, Conviasa, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.
Since August, Conviasa has been the sole international operator of the Mexico City NLU. Photo: Getty Images.
International connectivity to NLU
Arajet has become the third non-Mexican airline to announce a new international route to Felipe Ángeles International Airport. As previously stated, Conviasa is already an airport player, operating one flight per week to Caracas. In June, Copa Airlines announced that it would also launch flights to NLU. On September 26, the airline will begin flying between Tocumen International Airport (PTY) and NLU, operating three weekly flights on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
By October, NLU will offer 14 weekly international flights, adding the daily service that Viva Aerobus intends to launch to Havana (HAV). NLU will have:
- Arajet: three weekly flights to Santo Domingo (Monday, Thursday, Saturday).
- Conviasa: one flight per week to Caracas (Wednesday).
- Copa Airlines: three flights per week to Panama City (Monday, Thursday, Saturday).
- Viva Aerobus: daily flights to Havana.
Copa Airlines will launch its route to NLU on September 26. Photo: Getty Images.
While NLU is far from the international hub that the Mexican government would like it to be, it is certainly great news the addition of these new international routes. Flights to Havana and Caracas will exclusively serve a point-to-point route with no possibility of adding too much connectivity later (beyond other destinations in Venezuela and Cuba operated by local carriers).
Nevertheless, the routes to Santo Domingo, and in particular to Panama City, are great additions in terms of extended connectivity. Arajet has officially announced 13 new destinations in nine countries in the Americas. A person flying from Mexico City to Santo Domingo will have the option of connecting to certain destinations, mainly in the Caribbean, such as Saint Martin, Aruba, Curazao, Kingston and Barranquilla (Colombia).
Copa Airlines will be the most important entry actor for the new airport. The Panamanian airline will bolster the hub’s overall connectivity, as it operates approximately 1,000 weekly flights from Tocumen to 72 destinations across the Americas.
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