When Mexican discount air carrier VivaAerobus left the Las Vegas market in January 2013, it vowed to return when economic conditions improved.
On Friday, the airline delivered.
VivaAerobus began nonstop round trips between Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and McCarran International Airport, joining a competitively crowded market with four flights a week.
Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest market, is now served by three airlines besides VivaAerobus — AeroMexico, Interjet and Magnicharters — with 11 flights total a week.
The new flights more than doubles the seat capacity coming into the market from Monterrey.
Las Vegas tourism officials say the new VivaAerobus service will generate more than $14.5 million annually in nongaming economic impact for Southern Nevada.
“We are happy to have VivaAerobus rejoin the lineup of airline partners at McCarran,” Clark County Aviation Director Rosemary Vassiliadis said in a statement issued Friday. “In recent years, Latin America has been an area of growth for Las Vegas in terms of passenger traffic and Mexico, specifically, has seen a 20 percent increase in passenger capacity in the last year alone.”
The airline, which will fly the route Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, shifted a portion of its fleet of 19 Boeing 737s to other more profitable markets when it left Las Vegas last year, but said it wanted to return when economic conditions changed.
Mexico is Las Vegas’ No. 2 international market behind Canada.
Founded in 2006, VivaAerobus was developed by Grupo IAMSA, a leader in Mexico’s bus transportation market, and Irelandia, an investment group affiliated with Ryanair, an Irish discount air carrier.