The saga of international flights in and out of the Aeropuerto Internacional Manuel Márquez de León in La Paz continues. With little fanfare, Areomexico has announced a Saturday direct flight between the capital city of BCS and Los Angeles.
The Saturday flight leaves LAX at 2:12 pm and arrives in La Paz at 5:22 pm. The return flight leaves La Paz at 11:20 am and arrives in LAX at 12:45 pm.
The Saturday non-stop flight is currently available for booking at Areomexico.com. Pricing varies. Flight times may change and an announcement could be made by the end of the month by the airline.
La Paz has been without a direct flight to the US since February of 2014.
At the time, AeroMexico announced that it was 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 Angeles 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, former President of the La Paz Hotel Association (EMPRHOTUR) said at the time 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.
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.
La Paz has had a horrendous time attracting airlines to offer direct service to the US. 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.