During our recent visit to the Riviera Maya, Mexico, Caribbean Journal (CJ) sat down with a couple of top AMResorts executives to see what flights were expected to help the all-inclusive company cut its losses during the pandemic.
As part of our coverage of AMResorts’ inaugural “Amazing Agent Celebration” at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, CJ sat down with Colette Baruth, senior vice president of global commerce and distribution for AMResorts, and Mark Benson, senior director of sales strategy and processes at AMResorts.
The two executives shared ongoing plans to promote the flights with the most potential to draw guests to AMResorts destinations.
Here are some of those flights.
Benson said AMResorts recently conducted a campaign to promote the reinstatement of United Airways’ services to Curaçao from Newark. He said those flights were off the market for “sometime” until the route resumed on November 7. Both departing flights from Newark and return flights from Curaçao take place on Saturdays. (Curaçao just reopened its borders to all international travelers, including Americans from all 50 states).
“We did a very targeted, agent campaign to support that flight because we have two resorts down in Curacao,” said Benson, referring to the Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino and Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino.
“So, that’s how we are sort of slicing and dicing our database and targeting our agents with marketing materials,” he continued. “So, what we are working on now is Southwest [Airlines] coming back into the market with daily, direct [flights] out of Phoenix into Cabo and into Puerto Vallarta.”
There are two daily flights from Phoenix to Los Cabos on Southwest Airlines, while there is one daily flight from Phoenix to Puerto Vallarta. Benson said AMResorts is also following a Philadelphia flight to Cozumel, also on United.
“United got in just for two and half months with a flight once a week to Cozumel,” he told CJ, “but we’ll take it.”
Those weekly United flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Cozumel take off on Thursdays.
“The beauty of our database management is it allows us to go ‘scalpel-like into markets,’ to take that airlift and make something of it, as opposed to just market to that market because times are well and good,” said Benson.
But Baruth said supporting all routes is a win-win proposition for both the company and the destinations it is located in.
“We have to make the air stick,” she said. “That’s going to be the most important thing for the agency community, and the airlines need to ensure that their load factors are supported, number one to keep the existing routes that are there, but number two to prove the business case to bring larger aircraft in or to bring in additional planes.”
And as far as the Europe flights that aren’t performing so well, Baruth is looking on the bright side and hoping perhaps some unused fleet to and from Europe and can be used for short-haul markets instead.
“And we are starting to see that because the market for Europe is so depressed that they are taking some of those aircraft that are larger sized that they would use for a long-haul market,” she said, “and they are dropping them into short-haul markets, so the availability becomes even greater.”
So, which flights does Baruth think will perform the best in the coming months?
“We are finding new opportunities that haven’t existed and the one that Mark is talking about, with regard to Cozumel, is a huge, huge win,” she said.
But she noted the Philadelphia flight isn’t the only airlift to Cozumel that AMResorts is keeping an eye on.
“Denver into Cozumel is another big one too,” she said of daily United flights that depart from Denver on Saturdays.
“Denver is a huge dive market,” she continued, “and the people that go there have always had to do connections, or they had to hop on the ferry, so now our next thing is to try to get some more planes to Cozumel because that is our job; it is to make sure people can get to our destinations.”