American Airlines, Copa Airlines and United Airlines battle for #1 in North-Central America market; capacity up 7% versus last February
Scheduled airline seat capacity between airports in North America and Central America is up 7.3% this February when compared with a year ago. The US-Costa Rica market remains the largest, but is being caught by the US-Panama market. The Panama market has had a good 12 months. Apart from US capacity to the country being up 11.3%, scheduled seat capacity from Mexico is up 13.9%, the Canada-Panama market has also seen growth, of 16.3%.
The only country pair to gain a non-stop service that previously did not have one is Mexico-Belize, which since last March has been served by a non-stop flight between Cancun and Belize City operated daily by Tropic Air, the self-styled ‘Airline of Belize’, with its Cessna Caravans.
Copa Airlines extends lead over its nearest US rivals
Analysis of which airlines offer the most seat capacity on non-stop flights between North and Central America reveals that Panama’s Copa Airlines leads the way from American Airlines and United Airlines. With growth of 14.7%, Copa Airlines has extended its lead over its US rivals. American Airlines is reporting only modest 2.6% capacity growth in the market, while United Airways has actually reduced capacity slightly, by 0.6%.
Ninth ranked JetBlue Airways is the fastest-growing airline in this market (+53%) having added a new daily Fort Lauderdale to San Jose (Costa Rica) in June, to complement its existing Orlando-San Jose, and New York JFK-Liberia services.
Miami and Panama City lead rankings for individual airports
If the capacity flows are analysed at an airport level, then the leading airports in each region, for traffic to the other region, are Miami in North America, and Panama City in Central America. Boston (to Panama City with Copa Airlines in July), Tampa (to Panama City with Copa Airlines from mid-December) and Tapachula (to Guatemala City with Aeromexico in November) all gained their first non-stop links to Central America in the last 12 months. In Central America, no airports were added to the list of those that had non-stop flights to North America.
|North American Airport||Monthly one-way seats||Central American Airport||Monthly one-way seats|
|Miami (MIA)||129,512||Panama City (PTY)||189,052|
|Houston (IAH)||82,276||San Jose (SJO)||118,171|
|Mexico City (MEX)||52,503||San Salvador (SAL)||93,554|
|Atlanta (ATL)||50,320||Guatemala City (GUA)||71,075|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||42,374||Liberia (LIR)||43,335|
|New York JFK (JFK)||34,946||Belize City (BZE)||29,674|
|Cancun (CUN)||30,128||Managua (MGA)||28,408|
|Newark (EWR)||26,943||San Pedro Sula (SAP)||22,214|
|Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)||25,768||Tegucigalpa (TGU)||11,844|
|Orlando (MCO)||22,696||Roatan (RTB)||6,072|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for February 2014|