AeroMexico to Discontinue La Paz – Los Angeles Route

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Sad news La Paz.  The city is once again without direct, international flights.

AeroMexico has just announced that it is discontinuing direct air service between Los Angeles and La Paz as of February 6th, 2014. Direct flights after the 6th were made unavailable for purchase in the reservations system and customers with tickets already purchased were being contacted and directed onto other routes (most notably via Mexico City) to arrive to La Paz.

The two weekly flights to and from Los Angelos were scheduled on Thursdays and Sundays and left La Paz at 11:51 am and arrived at LAX at 1:20 pm and departed LAX at 2:20 pm, arriving in La Paz at 5:40 pm, allowing for connections to come in from the West Coast, Japan and other Asian countries.  The route had just started in June of 2013, lasting only 7 months.

The AeroMexico flights were the only international flights out of the La Paz Manuel Márquez de León International Airport.

Agustin Olachea, President of the La Paz Hotel Association (EMPRHOTUR) said that they have been in contact with the airline and that the decision of AeroMexico to cancel the route is based on dollars and cents.

“Unfortunately, the route just never garnered too much interest.  Over the summer, the flights were at 30% occupancy rate and now, at peak season, the flight was never full.  I hate to say it but La Paz has just not been able to attract enough volume to make the route viable for the airline,” Olachea explained.

“We tried, we really tried. It is bad news for La Paz, no doubt.  We have lost our international connection but we are looking at other airlines to come in and run direct, international flights during the high tourist season.  That is still on the table.  But short term, there is nothing new to report.”

Olachea says there are many reasons as to why the route never took off.  First, it was expensive and it took awhile for AeroMexico to lower the price to what travelers were willing to pay for a direct flight.  Second, marketing the flight could have been done much better. Thirdly, travelers still are choosing to fly into Los Cabos and then driving to La Paz.  “With the new twin highway from La Paz to Los Cabos, it just became more affordable and convenient to fly into San Jose and drive the two hours to La Paz,” he said.

This is the second time in recent history that an airline has announced the cancelation of the LAX-LAP route. Alaska Airlines had announced back in October of 2012 that it was discontinuing Horizon Air’s service between Los Angeles and La Paz in April of 2013.

“Unfortunately, the La Paz market has been very inconsistent for Air Group and is currently unprofitable,” Ben Munson, director of network planning said at the time of the cancellation. “We’ve tried various service patterns and combinations of Alaska and Horizon flights to make the market work, but without success.”

Air Group had served La Paz since October of 2006.

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