It's one step forward, one step back for Delta and its nonstop flights to Mexico from its Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) hub. The airline launched direct flights to México City (MEX) earlier this year, but it appears that came at a cost.
Delta confirmed Monday that it won't fly nonstop from MSP to Mazatlán (MZT) or Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa (ZIH) over the 2019-2020 winter season, cutting two seasonal routes from its biggest midwestern hub. An airline spokeswoman said the cuts were made “in response to decreased profitability. Delta continuously evaluates market needs and adjusts flights to better serve its customers.”
While painful for some travelers, the cuts are logical. Neither city is a tourist hotspot the likes of Cancun (CUN), San Jose del Cabo (SJD), Puerto Vallarta (PVR). Delta was flying these seasonal routes just a few times a week during the cold winter months.
It makes much more sense to put travelers heading for Zihuatanejo or Mazatlán on a one-stop flight through México City (MEX). Delta is increasingly leaning on its airline partners like Air France/KLM and Korean Air to connect passengers onward.
And the airline has built an even closer relationship with Aeromexico – their joint venture makes it easy for U.S. flyers to hop on a Delta flight to México City, then fly on Aeromexico elsewhere in Mexico or Central and South America.
That's clearly the route Delta is taking here, axing two underperforming seasonal routes while relying upon its new nonstop to Mexico's largest city to get passengers there eventually.
Sun Country still flies nonstop from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to both Zihuatanejo (ZIH) and Mazatlán (MZT). It was the latter city where Sun Country infamously stranded hundreds of passengers when a bad storm struck the Midwest, canceling the airline's final flight home of the season.
There's no denying a nonstop flight to Mexico City was a big win for Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and all Delta flyers, but this still stings. While not as popular as Mexico's tourist havens, the ability to get to further-flung destinations in Mexico during the winter was a fun option.