It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for airlines bringing travelers to Los Cabos.
Aircraft mechanical and manufacturing issues have led to a number of headaches for not only travelers, but also the resorts and hotels in Los Cabos ready to welcome them to one of Mexico’s top beach resort destinations for a vacation getaway.
It’s got the local resort and hotel operators concerned about the experience travelers will have getting to and from Los Cabos.
Aircraft Reliability Issues
There are three major manufacturers of airplanes in the world and two of them are facing challenges related to manufacturing and mechanical issues.
Most travelers are aware of the recent Boeing 737 Max 9 issues. The aircraft was temporarily grounded around the world when defects were found connected to bolts used to secure a door plug that caused the unused exit door to blow off during a flight.
Originally, the grounding involved airplanes flown by Alaska Airlines, an airline that transports passengers to Los Cabos. It was later extended to Max 9 aircraft flown by Aeromexico and United Airlines, which also fly to Los Cabos.
Los Cabos flights were canceled, and others were delayed, while replacement aircraft were secured.
Another lesser-known issue is the Airbus A320 Pratt and Whitney aircraft engine recall. Due to mechanical issues with the popular aircraft engine, several airlines will have to put some aircraft out of service to make the necessary repairs.
A recent industry news report estimated that 600 to 700 engines will need work between 2023 and 2026.
Volaris has already admitted in a recent earnings call that several of its aircraft will soon be affected by the recall. It is also suspected that this issue is delaying the restarting of nonstop international flights between Los Angeles and La Paz International Airport.
According to Mauricio Salicrup, spokesman for the Los Cabos Hotel Association, Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus will also be affected by this engine issue. All three are important airlines serving Los Cabos.
Fewer Flights for Los Cabos
The net result of the issue with the Boeing 737 Max 9 and Airbus A320 aircraft will be fewer aircraft available among the large carriers with multiple flights to Los Cabos.
The first round led to the cancellation of Alaska, Aeromexico, and United flights. Coming up in round two is Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.
The decrease in available aircraft could lead to fewer and less convenient flight times for travelers to Los Cabos with decreased availability. That could force the airlines to raise airfares to balance the strong demand or even cancel several flights.
“We will have to see how long the planes will go down and stay on the ground for technical checks,” Salicrup said in a recent media report on the issue.
What Travelers Need to Know
Travelers should probably consider booking their flights to Los Cabos as soon as possible to lock in rates that will most likely go up once the Airbus A320 planes go out of service in earnest for repairs.
That’s especially the case for flights connected to Aeromexico, Volaris and Viva Aerobus. Ironically, Aeromexico may substitute the A320s with Max 9 aircraft on some of the routes.
Tourists should also be flexible as flight cancellations mount. However, booking now locks in the fares, and flights will be adjusted without additional charge if canceled.
The issues with both Airbus and Boeing aircraft may make getting to enjoy a vacation getaway in one of the top beach resort destinations in Mexico a challenge this year.
However, the resort and hotel operators have a plan to make visitors feel right at home once they finally arrive in Los Cabos.
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