By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published in Texas Border Business newsprint edition October 2018
Liz Suarez, Director of Aviation at the McAllen Miller International Airport hosted the celebration of five years of partnership with Aeromar. This airline provides non-stop flights to Mexico City; this route has been popular among businesspeople and shoppers.
Suarez said, “I would like to talk to you a little bit about the hard work that has gone into this route. The route started on March 2013 with under 20,000 passengers a year.” She continued, “Since then we are happy to report that over the five years period there’s been approximately a 59% rate of growth. It’s been challenging, but as a team all is possible.”
“In 2017, we served the highest number of passengers that Aeromar has ever seen and that was roughly 16,200. So, we are excited about that connection to Mexico,” she said.
Next to the podium was Fabricio Cojuc Wolfowitz, M.A.A. Executive Director of Strategy with Aeromar at Mexico City International Airport. “For Aeromar this is like our second home, we feel surrounded by family,” he said in front a distinguished group of city officials and guests. “I want to emphasize that if this route is still going and growing, it’s primarily because of the teamwork of this alliance, this partnership… Without this, it would be nearly impossible to keep on working.”
He pointed out that McAllen is the only international route for Aeromar, but they don’t see it that way. They see it as a domestic route. He said, “For us, there are such similar interests between Mexico and McAllen that we don’t like to make that distinction.”
Director Cojuc Wolfowitz said that every passenger is important and while they are on the plane, they are not just another number. “We make them feel like home, and that produces a feeling of loyalty.”
“Those who are a little into aviation and aircraft know about the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane”. He noted that the technology in the ATR regarding instruments in the cockpit is the same as the as in the A380. “They are very environment-friendly airplanes with less fuel consumption, less CO2 emissions. They are advanced planes, and we are proud of this fact because it makes us fulfill our passengers’ expectations”.
Director Cojuc Wolfowitz emphasized that today, the objective is to consolidate this route and make it work properly. Also, to maintain consistency in the number of passengers they are transporting. He said, “Knowing that Aeromar already reaches 18 destinations, not only do we have to think about the passengers coming from McAllen or the Rio Grande Valley towards Mexico City, but also about the ones going to Oaxaca, Veracruz, Acapulco, and more.”
Roel ‘Roy’ Rodriguez, P.E., McAllen City Manager, said, “Today is an exciting day for the City of McAllen, for our airport and Aeromar, our partner. As we embark upon five years of air service from McAllen to Mexico City.” He continued, “We celebrate five years of hard work, mutual investment and most importantly five years of a successful business relationship.” Besides, he said that Liz and her airport board work very hard to ensure excellent communication with Mexico and with Aeromar.
“We know how important this relationship is and we are just going to work harder.” He said, “One of the things that I am most proud of, is not only that we have an airline that is currently flying to Mexico City, but McAllen is the only city that Aeromar flies to in the United States. That is a big deal, and we thank you for that.” He stated that it was a testament to the strength of this partnership with every one of Aeromar’s officials”. The city manager thanked the airport board for their vision and hard work that helps move this community forward.
Another guest to the celebration was José Ramón Fernandez, Director of the State of Texas’ Mexico Office. He said that the office he represents has been in Mexico for almost 50 years. It was established in 1971 and the primary purpose of the Texas Office in Mexico is to attract Mexican trade as an investment. “We work very closely with McAllen’s economic development, also with Rebecca M. Olaguibel, the Retail Development Director for McAllen.”
Ernesto Dominguez Martinez spoke on behalf of the Secretary of Tourism for the City of Mexico. He said, “It is an honor for me to be here on behalf of the Mexico City Minister of Tourism, my boss, Mr. Armando López Cárdenas.” He continued, “I want to thank you for organizing this great event and for the invitation to be here in this amazing City of McAllen, Texas.”
He stated, “Between two great cities, there are always bridges, in this specific case our bridge is named Aeromar, but not only is it the connection between two cities, it’s a synergy, a nice synergy between two great nations, the U.S. and Mexico.”
The Cónsul Adscripta Socorro Guadalupe Jorge Cholula said, “McAllen and Mexico City shared this investment and ratified their interest to maintain their mutual commitment and trust.”
Liz took the opportunity and shared additional facts about the route. “The route operates six days a week, so you can catch a flight any day of the week except for Tuesday.” She also announced that now through December 15, 2018, the special rate of $139 one-way is valid.
The last to speak was Joe Brown; he is the chairman of the board for the McAllen-Miller International Airport. He said, “The city has been great over the year in supporting the airport, and we are very fortunate. We look for mutual success for the airport, the city and Aeromar going forward.”
He invited, the representatives of Aeromar, the McAllen City commissioners present, and the airport board to come up for a gift on behalf of Aeromar, as a tribute to the five years anniversary of the route Mexico City-McAllen.”
The ceremony ended, and Liz Suarez thanked everyone for coming to this critically important event, celebrating a partnership with Aeromar.