Aeromexico’s daily nonstop flights to Mexico City from Toronto and Montreal (and soon, Vancouver) offer the added benefit of more than 80 connections, says Aeromexico’s Chief Revenue Officer Anko van der Werff in this edition of Friday 5.
1) Aeromexico launched its new Toronto-Mexico City nonstop daily flights on May 4. How have the flights performed in these first few weeks and how do the forward bookings look?
Van der Werff: Our first flight was sold out with all revenue passengers and so far the flight bookings have been exceeding expectations. Our market share for the route has been ahead of what we were expecting to receive so far and the summer, with the Pan American Games in Toronto (July 10 – 26) providing a big boost, looks promising so far.
2) Aeromexico now offers daily nonstop service from both Toronto and Montreal, and new flights out of Vancouver are scheduled to begin Dec. 9. How important is the Canadian market to Aeromexico?
Van der Werff: Canada is extremely important to Aeromexico. With Mexico being the number one vacation destination for Canadians outside the U.S., we want to make sure to be able to provide quality destinations and service to Canadians across the country. We believe we are well on our way to doing so. We have the top three Canadian gateways in play, from which we can send passengers to 45 cities within Mexico and all major markets in Central and South America as well.
Prior to the imposition of a Canadian visa on Mexicans, Canada was a top travel destination for Mexican citizens. New visa regulations are making it easier for Mexicans to come to Canada and we hope to revive that trend. Having the three biggest Canadian cities in our portfolio is a big key to that success.
3) In terms of passenger mix, from the Canadian market, what’s your leisure-corporate mix and what percentage of passengers are taking advantage of Aeromexico’s 80+ connections?
Van der Werff: Being a global airline, we look to maintain a healthy mix between leisure and corporate. We expect Toronto, the economic capital of the country, to be a bigger player in the corporate market than the other two Canadian destinations (with an approximately 30% corporate market size) and we are always looking to increase our corporate presence across the board, offering connections to top Mexican and Latin American business centres. As has been the trend and based on our predictions for the two new routes, roughly half the travellers we transport are expected to take advantage of our connectivity to Mexico and Latin America.
4) Why should travel agents book their clients on Aeromexico flights?
Van der Werff: First and foremost, our product is second to none. We offer a fully modern fleet, being able to cater to both corporate and leisure travellers alike and are able to offer them smooth connectivity to 45 Mexican destinations as well as 17 in Central and South America.
Our onboard service and our magnificent and fluid Terminal 2 facilities in MEX provide passengers with an optimal flight experience. We offer everything from seat comfort (with three seating classes including a full business class service) to having all amenities on board (alcohol, blankets, entertainment system and meals) included in our fares.
Last but not least, speaking of fares, we strive to provide the best passenger experience while maintaining a level of competitiveness in our pricing structure to allow us to be the airline of choice for all segments of travellers to Mexico City and beyond.
5) What does Aeromexico do in terms of outreach for Canadian travel agents?
Van der Werff: We have a long-standing and prosperous relationship with Canadian travel agents. Being a fully accredited IATA airline, we publish our fares within all GDS systems available in Canada and over the years have had production from over 600 IATA locations in the country. Our commissions, contract agreements and contacts database allow us to remain in constant communication with our partners regarding everything from promotions to troubleshooting individual bookings.
Through our partnerships with agencies across the country, we are able to reach tens of thousands of individual travel agents to introduce, maintain and enhance awareness of our products and services, whether through meetings, events, webinars, presentations and participation in various industry functions. Our partnerships with various tourism boards and Chambers of Commerce also give us vast access to industry events and sponsorship opportunities.