Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet has added Merida to its network and plans to launch services to another domestic destination, Tapachula, later this week.
Interjet says in a statement that Mexico City-Merida service began late last week with two daily Airbus A320 frequencies. The carrier says in a separate statement that Mexico City-Tapachula service will begin on 6 November with one daily A320 frequency.
Interjet will primarily compete against the country's two largest carriers - Aeromexico and Mexicana - between Mexico City and the Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state. According to Innovata, both airline groups now offer six daily frequencies on the route. Aeromexico uses Embraer regional jets operated by its Aeromexico Express subsidiary while Mexicana uses Boeing 717s and Fokker 100s operated by its Click subsidiary.
Aeromar, an independent regional carrier that codeshares with Mexicana, also operates four weekly frequencies between Mexico City and Merida using ATR 42s. Interjet's low-cost rival, Volaris, serves Merida with three daily A319 flights from its Toluca hub outside Mexico City.
Tapachula is a smaller city also located in southern Mexico. It currently is only served by Aeromexico Connect with three daily regional jet frequencies from Mexico City.
Aviacsa, which was Mexico's fifth largest domestic airline before it ceased operations in July, also previously served the Mexico City-Tapachula route. Over the last few months Mexican carriers have quickly filled Aviacsa's void primarily by adding capacity on some former Aviacsa routes.
Interjet, for example, has added frequencies on its Mexico City to Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tuxtla routes. Interjet also has added frequencies from Toluca to Guadalajara and Monterrey.
Speaking to ATI sister publication Airline Business Magazine last month, Interjet CEO Luis Garza pointed out Aviacsa is the fourth scheduled passenger airline to cease operations since the middle of last year and said the "the last chapter is yet to come".
"The destructive head-to-head competition in which Aeromexico and Mexicana are engaged may end with one exhausted winner or two failures. This seems a slow and complex destructive process might take months if not years to reach an end," Garza says.
The addition of Tapachula and Merida will give Interjet, which has bases at Mexico City and Toluca, 22 domestic destinations. The carrier currently operates only domestically with a fleet of 15 150-seat A320s.