AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin will once again have nonstop flights to Monterrey, Mexico, after a low-cost Mexican airline announced plans to launch the route next year.
Viva Aerobus will begin flights on March 22. The announcement comes less than a month after Spirit Airlines canceled its route to Monterrey, citing lower-than-expected passenger demand.
Nonstop flights will operate four days a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Flights will leave Austin at 2:35 p.m. on those days, and flights from Monterrey land at AUS at 1:25 p.m.
“Our airport has worked with airlines over the years to connect our valued passengers to new destinations and possibilities, and we’ve been eager to launch this one,” said Ghizlane Badawi, deputy CEO of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. “We are excited to partner with Viva Aerobus to better serve our passengers traveling to Mexico and beyond. We are grateful to our airline partners for their investment in our community.”
The airline previously offered service from AUS for more than a year, beginning in 2008. It planned to resume service in 2021, but the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Mexico’s aviation safety rating to Category 2 that May, meaning no new routes were allowed to operate.
The FAA reinstated Mexico’s Category 1 safety rating earlier this month, allowing for the new service to AUS.
“We are excited to start flying to new cities in the US as part of our major expansion strategy in this country, encouraging passengers to take advantage of our increased connectivity, low fares and modern fleet,” Viva Aerobus CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua said. “This new route not only connects two individual cities but provides Austin and Central Texas passengers with a wide range of connecting flights that link Monterrey to over 30 key destinations to discover Mexico.”
The new route is the second new nonstop flight from AUS announced for 2024 so far. Southwest Airlines is launching flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning March 9. Sixteen new routes have been launched by various airlines so far this year, with three more taking off in October.