Mexicana regional subsidiary Link has unveiled plans to launch service to Campeche on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

A Mexicana spokesman says the airline group will offer effective 1 March one flight every weekday to Campeche from its Mexico City hub using Link Bombardier CRJ200s. There will be no service on weekends.

The route, while small, is strategically significant because it represents the first route Grupo Mexicana is launching from Mexico City using regional jets. Mexicana, which historically has not had any aircraft in its fleet with less than 100 seats, established Link early last year after agreeing to lease up to 15 50-seat CRJ200s.

Mexicana originally planned to use Link on thin point-to-point domestic routes from the group's secondary hubs at Guadalajara and Monterrey, bypassing the group's main Mexico City hub. But in December Link began operating some new international flights from the group's new Cancun hub and last month Link began operating some domestic flights from Mexico City.

The first batch of Link flights at Mexico City were on six existing domestic routes that Mexicana previously only served using Fokker 100s from its Click unit. Campeche, however, is a completely new destination for Mexicana that the group sees as a perfect fit for 50-seat jets.

According to Innovata, rival Aeromexico is now the only carrier serving Mexico City-Campeche. Aeromexico also uses 50-seat jets on the route, Embraer ERJ-145s from its Aeromexico Connect subsidiary, with three daily frequencies currently offered.

By launching Campeche service with CRJ200s Mexicana in many ways is taking a page out of Aeromexico's book. The Aeromexico group over the last few years has used Aeromexico Connect, which in 2009 expanded its ERJ-145 fleet from 30 to 37 aircraft, to take over several Mexico City domestic routes previously operated with narrowbody aircraft as well as launch new services to several small Mexican cities.

The addition of Campeche gives Link, which currently operates 14 CRJ200s with a 15th aircraft due to enter service later this month, 20 destinations. Campeche is a small provincial capital located off the Gulf of Mexico on the west side of the Yucatan peninsula.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news