Conviasa Set To Be First International Carrier At Mexico City's New Airport

Credit: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuelan flag-carrier Conviasa is set to become the first international airline to serve Felipe Ángeles International (NLU), the new airport in Mexico City being constructed on the site of the Santa Lucía Air Force Base.

The carrier has announced plans to begin flights from Venezuela’s capital Caracas (CCS) on March 21, the day the airport opens. Service will initially be weekly on Mondays, departing at 10 a.m. from Caracas and returning at 4 p.m. the same day.

The route will become Conviasa’s third to Mexico alongside existing operations from Caracas to Cancun (CUN), the vacation destination on the Yucatán Peninsula, and Toluca Airport (TLC), located some 40 km from Mexico City’s Santa Fe financial district.

The airline hopes the new link would lead to “an increase in tourism and economic activity between Venezuela and Mexico.”

Conviasa is the fourth carrier to confirm plans to serve Felipe Ángeles International once the airport opens alongside Mexican operators Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.

Aeromexico intends to fly from NLU to Merida (MID), the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, and Villahermosa (VSA), located in the southeast of Mexico between the Grijalva and Carrizal rivers. Daily frequencies are planned on both sectors.

The carrier previously stated it would not serve Felipe Angeles International but would instead concentrate on strengthening its existing operations at Mexico City Juárez. However, the carrier said the U-turn was based on “the result of the network, location, and customer needs analysis.”

Viva Aerobus will launch flights to Guadalajara (GDL) and Monterrey (MTY) once the airport opens, serving each destination daily. Volaris also plans to connect NLU with Tijuana (TIJ) and Cancun.

Speaking to Routes on the sidelines of Routes Americas 2022 in February, Viva Aerobus CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua said Felipe Angeles International is “going to be a great airport to help with the saturation of the existing airport [Juárez].”

However, he said that until infrastructure around the new airport has been completed, it is unlikely that the ULCC will scale up its presence significantly.

“It’s going to take a bit of time to see the real value of this airport,” Zuazua said. “We’re not starting from day one with a base there, but certainly there’s the potential in the future.”

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.