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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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New Airlines and Increased Flight Services Elevate Regional Connectivity

McAllen International Airport Expands Skyward

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Jeremy Santoscoy, P.E., Aviation Director. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
Jeremy Santoscoy, P.E., Aviation Director. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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By Roberto Hugo González

Under the direction of Jeremy Santoscoy, P.E., Aviation Director, the newly appointed Director of Aviation, McAllen International Airport has witnessed significant growth and enhancement in its service offerings, affirming its position as a leading air transportation hub in the region. Santoscoy, who ascended to the role of Director after a decade of dedicated service at the airport, including a substantial tenure as Deputy Director, has been instrumental in steering the airport through an era of remarkable expansion.

Reflecting on his recent promotion, Santoscoy shared, “Being in charge of the largest air transportation hub in the valley is special because you connect people worldwide. You connect people to their next big business deal, the vacation they need, and friends and family worldwide. So that’s at the core of our service to the public.”

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Despite the inherent challenges of managing a very active airport that sees hundreds of thousands of travelers annually, Santoscoy views these challenges as opportunities.

A significant development under Santoscoy’s leadership is the introduction of three new airlines, adding four new destinations to the airport’s roster. Santoscoy highlighted this achievement: “We’re excited about the new service and the new airlines we’re bringing into the McAllen International Airport.” Aeromexico’s daily nonstop service to Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Angeles marks a critical moment in reinstating a vital connection to Mexico City. This route had experienced a void following Aeromar’s departure.

Santoscoy’s enthusiasm for these new services underlines his commitment to enhancing the airport’s connectivity and service quality. “These guys provide a world-class service. We’re very proud to have that route here operating out of McAllen International Airport to serve the region with a daily flight to Mexico City,” he remarked, emphasizing the route’s strategic importance.

In addition to Aeromexico, Santoscoy proudly announced Delta’s new service: “So the second one that we announced already was Delta. And so, Delta’s going to be flying three times daily to Austin,” providing passengers with flexible travel options throughout the day. This development exemplifies Santoscoy’s vision for an airport that meets travelers’ current demands and anticipates future needs.

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As McAllen International Airport evolves, Santoscoy’s leadership drives the airport towards new horizons. Santoscoy’s passion for connecting people, strategic vision for growth, and dedication to improving passenger experiences are at the core of the airport’s ongoing success and its role as a crucial gateway to the world.

Continuing from the introduction of Aeromexico and Delta Airlines, Santoscoy eagerly shared details about the third airline enhancing the airport’s roster, “The third one, the new airline actually, we announced an existing and incumbent airline Allegiant. They’ll start St. Pete’s, Tampa, Florida on June 14th.” This addition not only diversifies the destination offerings but emphasizes McAllen’s commitment to catering to the leisure needs of its passengers, providing a gateway to the desirable Clearwater and Gulf Beaches of Florida.

Moreover, Santoscoy highlighted Volaris’ strategic inclusion as a significant step towards enriching the airport’s international connectivity. “We’re working with Volaris, and we’ve already announced that tickets are on sale for Cancun starting July 3rd. Again, it’s a Wednesday and Saturday flight,” he stated, emphasizing the effort to balance low-cost service options for passengers.

Santoscoy’s strategic vision extends beyond merely adding flights; it’s about challenging the status quo and seizing opportunities. He elaborated, “We work tirelessly with airlines to promote McAllen and what we can offer. We’re directly competing with Reynosa for Mexico service, providing our US domestic travelers more convenience and avoiding the need to cross the border.”

Mayor Javier Villalobos said, “Our McAllen International Airport is truly a world-class airport that not only gets people to destinations around the world but also helps passengers feel right at home when they land.”  

This competitive approach is more comprehensive than international routes. Delta Airlines’ introduction of three-times-daily flights to Austin represents a calculated move to serve travelers’ varied needs, whether for business, leisure, or government affairs. “Having the three US legacy carriers here at MFE gives the customer an option,” Santoscoy explained, emphasizing the enhanced convenience and choice now available to passengers.

“Expanding our transportation industry, whether in the air or on the highway, is just one more way for the City of McAllen to positively impact and grow McAllen’s economy for a more secure and prosperous future,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.  “As destination options out of the McAllen International Airport expand, so does McAllen’s presence, influence, and partnership around the world.” 

Responding to the larger implications of these expansions, Santoscoy noted ongoing efforts to optimize airport operations and infrastructure, “We are working on a terminal capacity study right now, looking at areas we can make more efficient or need to expand.” This forward-thinking approach is also reflected in the strategic decisions by United Airlines and American Airlines to introduce larger aircraft and increase flight frequencies, responding to the growing demand for air travel in the region.

With nearly 965,000 passengers in 2023, McAllen International Airport is not just a gateway to major destinations like Vegas and Dallas; it’s a hub that connects the Rio Grande Valley to the world. Santoscoy’s leadership is characterized by a relentless pursuit of growth, efficiency, and enhanced service quality, ensuring that McAllen Airport remains a critical connector in global air travel. 

“The McAllen International Airport continues to add more non-stop destinations throughout the United States and Mexico, making it truly an international airport that connects travelers to their destination, whether it is for business or leisure,” said Jeremy Santoscoy, P.E., Aviation Director, McAllen International Airport.  “However, our sights are always set on the horizon, for the next destination, the next partner to help us connect McAllen to the world,” Santoscoy finalized.

More flights and new destinations at the McAllen International Airport.

1. Introduction of New Airlines: Under Santoscoy’s guidance, the airport has introduced three new airlines to its roster, significantly boosting its service offerings and connectivity.

2. New Destinations: Four new destinations have been added, including Aeromexico’s notable daily nonstop service to Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Angeles, reconnecting McAllen with Mexico City—a service void left by Aeromar’s departure.

3. Enhanced Service Quality: The new services, particularly the route to Mexico City, are highlighted for their world-class service quality, reflecting Santoscoy’s commitment to enhancing the airport’s overall connectivity and passenger experience.

4. Delta Airlines: Delta Airlines now offers three times daily flights to Austin, demonstrating a strategic effort to provide flexible travel options and cater to varied passenger needs, including business, leisure, and government travel.

5. Allegiant Airline: The airline announced a new service to St. Pete’s/Tampa, Florida, set to begin on June 14th. The service targets leisure travelers with connections to the Clearwater and Gulf Beaches of Florida.

6. Volaris: Introduced as part of the strategy to enrich international connectivity, offering flights to Cancun starting July 3rd, with service on Wednesdays and Saturdays, emphasizing low-cost options for passengers.

7. Competitive Positioning: Efforts to promote McAllen and compete directly with Reynosa for Mexico service, aiming to provide U.S. domestic travelers with more convenience and an option to avoid crossing the border.

8. Strategic Growth and Infrastructure Optimization: The airport is undergoing a terminal capacity study to identify areas for efficiency improvements or necessary expansions. This reflects a broader strategic vision for growth and optimization.

9. Increased Demand Response: United Airlines and American Airlines have responded to the region’s growing demand for air travel by introducing larger aircraft and increasing flight frequencies.

10. Vision for the Future: Under Santoscoy’s leadership, the airport continues to explore new destinations and partnerships. It aims to connect McAllen to the world and enhance its role as a major transportation hub, emphasizing both domestic and international connectivity.

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