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Canada-Mexico seats +14% versus 2019; WestJet top airline; Toronto-Cancun gains 7th airline

Lynx YYZ-CUN

Mexico is an ever-popular destination from Canada, particularly in winter for snowbirds. Indeed, examining Cirium data shows that December 2023 had more available seats than June, July and August combined. Mexico’s location, many destinations, and the extent of service mean it is Canada’s second-largest international market, behind the US. There were 3.4 million departing seats in 2023, up by more than 420,000 (+14%) versus 2019.

Canada-Mexico monthly capacity 2019-2023

WestJet is the largest carrier to Mexico

Eight airlines have non-stop flights from Canada to Mexico in W23, with WestJet continuing to be number one. It has almost a third of available seats (32%), up by five percentage points versus W19. Its winter capacity has grown considerably (+54%), and this is only partly because it has subsumed the operations of LCC Swoop, which ceased to exist in October 2023.

The exit of Swoop is far from the only market change since the coronavirus. Defunct Mexican carrier Interjet, which was the country pair’s sixth-largest operator in W19 with a 7% share of capacity, obviously no longer operates. Even China Southern previously flew Guangzhou-Vancouver-Mexico City until February 2020, although it is unknown if it had fifth freedom traffic rights.

Canadian ULCCs have entered the market. Flair did so in February 2022 with five routes. Canada Jetlines followed in March 2023 with one route, which, funnily enough, is all it still has. Finally, Lynx started flying to Mexico on 15 February 2024; it, too, only has one route.

Canada - Mexico airlines W23

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There are 71 airport pairs

When all airlines are combined, they offer flights to Mexico from 24 Canadian airports this winter. Obviously, Toronto YYZ has the most seats (28%), followed by Vancouver (19%), Montreal (17%), Calgary (13%) and Edmonton (7%).

Twelve Mexican airports are served non-stop from Canada, with Cancun having more than one in two seats. Flights are from 21 Canadian airports. Only Puerto Vallarta comes close (16), which is served from twice as many airports as Los Cabos and Mazatlán this winter (eight each).

Some 141 routes are available, which reduces to 71 airport pairs when the operating airlines are removed. Naturally, Toronto YYZ-Cancun ranks first. As discussed below, it is now served by seven airlines. It is notable that Mexico City features three times in the top 10 airport pairs list.

Top 10 Canada - Mexico airport pairs 2023

Lynx becomes the 7th airline on Toronto YYZ-Cancun

It is unlikely that the 2,600-kilometre airport pair, comfortably the largest Canada-Mexico market, has had as many airlines as it does now. It is thanks to the February 2024 arrival of Lynx Air. The market has 85-weekly departing flights in March by Air Canada (21), WestJet (17), Sunwing (15), Air Transat (12), Flair (11), Lynx (6) and Canada Jetlines (3).

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