In 2008, a Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama defeated John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th President of the United States. Additionally, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, and the New York Giants were named Super Bowl champions.
According to reports, it was also the last time that the La Paz International Airport had a nonstop international flight from the United States flown by the defunct Aero California.
After 15 years, international flights are back on the radar at the La Paz International Airport. However, an aircraft engine defect issue is delaying the launch of the new route.
The Head of Baja California Sur Tourism Rosa Maribel Collins Sánchez announced this week that she has received a promise from officials with Volaris that a nonstop direct flight from Los Angeles International Aiport is being considered for 2024, as early as March.
However, the airline mentioned to Collins Sánchez that they have to facilitate the maintenance of some aircraft engines before considering adding the new international route to their existing flight schedule.
Pratt & Whitney Engine Issue
According to Reuters, Volaris is currently caught up in the Pratt & Whitney engine issue, with potential recalls and repairs of the defective aircraft engines expected to take place in 2024 and 2025.
Volaris Chief Executive Enrique Beltranena said in a news article that 73 airplanes in the company’s 126 aircraft fleet could be temporarily affected by the defect. This impact could significantly affect the overall operations at the airline.
Beltranena further said that it will take until the first quarter of next year to fully determine the impact of the Pratt & Whitney engine defect on flight operations at Volaris. That is directly in line with the time frame provided for the launch of a potential La Paz to Los Angeles route.
Mexican FAA Upgrade
Despite the potential delay from the fallout connected to the industry Pratt & Whitney engine issue, it is important that the whole concept of the new route would not have happened without Mexico being recertified Category 1 by the Federal Aviation Administration and United States Department of Transportation earlier this year.
The upgrading of the Mexican airline safety status allowed for national airlines to consider additional flight service to the United States. Volaris is one of the more aggressive airlines leveraging the recertification to add flights where demand made sense.
Demand For La Paz Flights
La Paz has been positioning itself lately more as a destination for domestic Mexican travelers and leaving much of the international travelers to nearby Los Cabos. That’s in part due to the lack of international flights to the United States.
However, this new flight could position La Paz even more as a destination for United States travelers. There was a demand for the Los Angeles to La Paz flight from Aero California before it ended.
Collins Sánchez is definitely excited to welcome guests from Los Angeles once again. She even added that it could eventually be served by two different airlines and provide convenient access for tourists from all over California and beyond.
What it Means For La Paz Visitors
La Paz is already a popular destination for travelers from the United States with its popular boat tours to Isla Espiritu Santo, Balandra Bay and of course the very trendy swimming with the whale sharks adventure.
The potential for direct flights from the United States will make access to these attractions, and others, easier for travelers. From the Los Cabos International Airport to the La Paz International Airport is a two and a half hour (197 kilometer) highway drive.
It would definitely provide easier access to La Paz for visitors looking for these types of adventures and could open the door for additional flights from other airports in the United States in the future.
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