For your next trip from the United States to Mexico, the choices have been whittled down to Aeromexico, Volaris, and VivaAerobus. After just over 35 years of operating flights, Aeromar is no more. The small regional carrier has ceased flights as of 15 February.
At first glance however, the United States homepage of Aeromar makes it look as if nothing sinister has happened:
Confused, I clicked on the “reserve now” button just to see what would happen:
Silly me, the airline is based in Mexico. I should be looking at that country’s homepage:
Now the pieces are in place.
Even though Aeromar blames COVID-19 for finally doing them in, the regional carrier — best known for domestic beach prop (propeller) hops from Mexico City International Airport (MEX) — had been struggling with debt for years before then. One source notes that Aeromar was supposedly ~ seven billion pesos (~380 million dollars) in debt, with no less than 500 million pesos (~27 million dollars) owed to MEX.
Apparently Mexico’s President López Obrador had announced plans in October 2022 to buy Aeromar, but those never came to fruition; although unrelated, the Mexican government did buy Mexico’s oldest carrier, Mexicana, earlier this month.
Also this February, Brazilian low-cost carrier (albeit one that doesn’t yet operate) Nella Airlines suggested that it might buy Aeromar, hence the “Aeromar by Nella” screen above. No dice.
With this chapter of Mexican aviation ending, this also means McAllen, Texas (MFE) loses its only scheduled international service. (link in Spanish) Thus, I’ve got a little trip report from my one Aeromar flight in 2021, between McAllen and Monterrey (MTY).
McAllen isn’t quite on the Mexico border, but it’s just north of Hidalgo, which touches Reynosa in the state of Tamaulipas. These aren’t tourism spots by most accounts, but I did notice that there was a giant mall called La Plaza in McAllen, no doubt popular with cross-border visitors.
Anyway, I was traveling to Monterrey, so I booked a quick nonstop with Aeromar. McAllen’s airport, which is very close to downtown, is in pretty good shape — for the U.S. Sure, it’s not busy, and weather is rarely an issue, but still, not bad at all. Of course, it’s a regional airport, and it generally feeds the massive Texas hubs of Dallas DFW and Houston IAH, so any delays would likely be due to those two places.
Boarding was uneventful. The aircraft was an ATR 72-600, a prop; it had been years since my last prop flight, so I was somewhat excited.
Given the stage length of the McAllen – Monterrey flight, I wasn’t expecting any food/drink service. Surprisingly, the flight attendants handed out water bottles.
We landed on time in Monterrey, where I proceeded to enjoy a local specialty of goat, or cabrito in Spanish.
Buena suerte, personal de Aeromar.
Did you ever fly Aeromar?