New York To Los Cabos: Look At That Capacity!

Filed Under: American, Delta

Airlines have taken a new approach to route planning across the board, and there’s no market where that’s more evident than New York to Los Cabos…

Airlines are all about Florida & Mexico

Historically the legacy carriers have been all about going after business travelers and focusing on routing most flights through hubs. Now we’re seeing airlines take the opposite approach. The focus for the upcoming winter schedule is almost entirely on leisure point-to-point routes.

With people seeking warm weather and with travel restrictions in place, airlines are focusing on two markets — Florida and Mexico. Florida hasn’t had any sort of travel restrictions (given that coronavirus hasn’t exactly been under control there), while Mexico hasn’t had major restrictions either.

So we’re seeing all kinds of routes we would have never expected to see a year ago, ranging from United launching Milwaukee to Fort Myers flights, to American adding Kansas City to Cancun flights, to JetBlue launching Pittsburg to Fort Lauderdale flights, to Southwest launching Miami flights.

Airlines are adding lots of capacity to Mexico

And that brings me to one route in particular…

Airlines flood New York to Los Cabos market

While we’re seeing airlines add seemingly infinite capacity to Cancun, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, etc., there’s one particular city pair that has been fun to watch. The number of nonstop flights between New York and Los Cabos this winter is increasing exponentially, and it’s kind of cool to see.

Looking at the absolute peak winter season in the second half of December between New York and Los Cabos:

  • United will operate 9x weekly Newark to Los Cabos flights with 737-800s (154 seats per plane)
  • American will operate daily New York JFK to Los Cabos flights with 737-800s (172 seats)
  • Delta will operate daily New York JFK to Los Cabos flights with 737-900s (180 seats per plane)
  • Eastern will operate 2x weekly New York JFK to Los Cabos flights with 767-200s (236 seats per plane)

In other words, between New York and Los Cabos (if my math is right):

  • There will be up to 25 weekly flights in each direction
  • There will be up to 4,322 weekly seats in each direction

As a point of comparison, previously there were two weekly seasonal flights, with a total of 308 seats.

That represents up to a 1,250% increase in the number of flights, and up to a 1,400% increase in the number of seats.

Note that all of these flights continue through the end of March 2021, with the exception of United’s service — United is only offers 9x weekly service during the peak holiday season, and then service decreases to 2x weekly for the rest of the winter. That still represents a massive capacity increase.

United is operating up to 9x weekly flights between Newark and Los Cabos

I feel kind of bad for Eastern. The airline, which has little name recognition, announced it would add this route at a time when only United had limited participation in the market. In the meantime American and Delta have added daily flights as well.

Eastern was the first US airline to announce Los Cabos expansion

Bottom line

This winter we’ll see up to 24x weekly flights between New York and Los Cabos, compared to 2x weekly flights in previous years. In general we’re seeing growth this winter focused on Florida and Mexico, so more service to Los Cabos isn’t surprising.

However, the New York to Los Cabos route stands out to me in particular, because it’s a market that previously had very little service, and now seems quite saturated.

While I imagine American, Delta, and United, will stick with their plans, I wonder if Eastern may reconsider, given that it’s otherwise not as established.

Are you surprised to see this much capacity between NYC and SJD?

(Featured image courtesy of BriYYZ)

Comments
  1. Don’t quote me but I believe American and Delta have had nonstop flights in prior years but usually only in the last couple of weeks of December. This actually doesn’t seem like a major increase for that sliver of the year, but it certainly does for Feb/March when I believe only United was flying this route (and only weekly at that).

  2. A friend just visited Mexico this past week and was surprised he didn’t get any health screening or temperature check upon arrival at JFK yesterday. In Mexico though they did take his temperature.
    Mexico has no quarantine rules or Covid-19 test requirements so it makes sense why a good number of Americans wanting to travel internationally would go there.
    I’ve never been to Los Cabos but might now go there!

  3. Curious have you factored in that planes are running less capacity due to Covid distancing aka black coed seats On a Alaska flight SFO which is considered full but all middle seats are blocked unless on the same PNR …. I’ve flown ORD and EWR a few times and flights were always full …

  4. AA didn’t have a JFK-SJD flight this past winter. I routed through LAX both ways, which thanks to the A321T wasn’t all bad…

  5. My family is roughly a “case study” for this type of travel. We’re dying to get the hell out of the state, and don’t want to drive a long distance. Bought 4 non-stops from PHL to FLL around Thanksgiving for ~37k Ultimate Rewards points on American Airlines. AA wanted 20k miles each ticket.

    Would’ve considered Mexico (and Caribbean islands) but on the off chance this virus gets out of hand again, at least we’re in the US while on vacation.

  6. I’m looking on Google Flights and Eastern’s prices are up to $100 less than the next cheapest tickets, which includes an 11 hour layover in MEX

  7. This is interesting… as a NY flyer i’ve kinda written off cabo for a while without regular nonstop connections (shocking given EWR/JFK scale).

    Hopefully this performs better than the Cuban flights after all the supply was added simultaneously a few years ago.

  8. Ive never been, but my understanding is that you cant swim in Cabo because they ocean is too rough, and probably very cold in the winter. Whats the appeal? I get if youre in Phoenix rr something, at least its close. But from NYC, why not just go to the Caribbean?

  9. Cabo has had a huge influx of new luxury resorts. So demand could be higher in general. A quick search shows: Viceroy, Nobu, Luxury Collection, Montage, Hard Rock, Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton Reserve, have all opened in the last two years with more to come including an Aman.

  10. @James S, there are a few swimmable beaches in Cabo, but if ocean swimming is your thing, Cabo’s not the best choice.

    But you can’t be serious about this question today. “But from NYC, why not just go to the Caribbean?”

    In case you are serious, everywhere in the Caribbean requires either a quarantine or a short timed negative COVID test. Many people don’t want the hassle.

    A better question would be “Why not just go to Cancun?” and I suspect more from NYC will, but this post is about new flights, and there were no new flights announced for Cancun today.

  11. @Reaper

    “In case you are serious, everywhere in the Caribbean requires either a quarantine or a short timed negative COVID test. Many people don’t want the hassle.”

    I was in fact thinking of Cancun when I sad Caribbean.

  12. Hi everyone, as of know Los Cabos is the one of the premium beach destinations in Mexico, (along with Riviera Nayarit), where you can find one of the newest and expensive hotels in Mexico.

    I guess lot of New Yorkers wants to take a break but only if that is a high end experience, and Cabo can offer this. An other reason is that Cabo is mainly designed to cater American customers Vs Cancun/Riviera Maya that is more designed to satisfy Europeans and Latin Americans tourist.

    Hope all airlines can fill up all these planes.

  13. FYI, there’s no flight from Pittsburg to FLL, but there is from Pittsburgh. Also, they were bringing it back as I definitely flew that route as recently as 2017.

  14. Does this explosion of capacity to Cabo remind anyone of the plethora of flights to Cuba when travel to Cuba was first reopened. We saw how long that lasted 🙁

  15. @neil, Unless COVID-19 restrictions/reluctance lasts more than another year this most definitely will *not* last, and the airlines aren’t likely planning for it to last. This is a one season move to take advantage of the fact that warm weather tourist destinations are *very* limited this year.

    If you can’t see the difference between this and what happened in Cuba, I can’t help you.

  16. @Nate Nate, I thought Lucky arrived at MIA, not JFK. I know from friends who traveled to TX or FL upon arrival at JFK they had to show the CDC folks that they submitted a health form online (NY state currently has over 30 states listed in its quarantine list.) I would have thought they’d do the same for flights coming from countries hit hard by the coronavirus but I guess not. I haven’t travelled on a plane since late Feb.

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