On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Los Angeles to play nice with Ontario on the issue of L.A./Ontario International Airport. But does the letter she sent to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti make any sense?
Mexican discount airline Volaris plans to start twice weekly service from Guadalajara to L.A./Ontario International Airport, confirming an L.A. Airspace report from September, when we discovered the carrier’s application with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
This is somewhat big news for Ontario, which has been steadily losing passenger traffic in the past five years. But it actually does not give the airport a new destination. Aeromexico is already flying daily to Guadalajara.
Ontario is the seventh California destination for Volaris. It joins Los Angeles, Oakland/San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Fresno and Sacramento in the carrier’s route network.
Here’s the schedule:
- Guadalajara, Jalisco – Ontario, California. (Starting April 12th. Wednesday and Saturday) Departing from Guadalajara at 22:40 hrs., arriving to Ontario at 00:05 hrs
- Ontario – Guadalajara, (Starting April 13th. Thursday and Sunday) Departing from Ontario at 01:20 hrs., arriving to Guadalajara at 06:45 hrs
Traffic at L.A./Ontario International Airport east of Los Angeles fell again in October, with the airport attracting only 334,385 passengers, a decline of 9 percent from the same month the previous year. This continues a painful declines for the outlying airport, which has lost more than 40 percent of its traffic since 2007. And there’s not much hope, at least for the near term.
But another airport operated by the city of Los Angeles – -Los Angeles International Airport — did much better. It processed 5,515,805 passengers in October, up 6.25 percent from Oct. 2012. Both international and domestic traffic rose. So far for the year, LAX traffic is up almost 5 percent compared to 2012.
Love data? Here are some links to the reports on both airports. Beware: Each is frighteningly detailed.
Volaris airlines, the Mexican discount carrier, received permission last week from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin flying between L.A./Ontario International Airport and Guadalajara, Mexico.
If and when the airline actually starts service in another story. I have reached out to Volaris officials but have not heard back. The airport manager, Jess Romo, told me in an email that the service is still in the preliminary stages.
“Volaris has still not advised LAWA on any new service to/from ONT,” Romo said. “I may have mentioned that oftentimes foreign carriers make applications to a number of US cities without definitive air service plans. We will continue our outreach and stand ready to help support new service here at ONT.”
The Ontario airport is not doing so well these days, and any new service there is a big deal. The airport has lost more than 40 percent of its traffic since 2007. My colleague, Liset Marquez, recently wrote that things were so bad that the TGI Friday’s closed.
Even if Volaris does open the new flight, it will not actually be a new route for Ontario Airport. Aeromexico already flies between Ontario and Guadalajara.
The city of Ontario’s lawsuit against Los Angeles World Airports may proceed, a state court judge ruled on Wednesday.
Ontario officials contend that Los Angeles World Airports has mismanaged L.A./Ontario International Airport, which has lost more than 40 percent of its air traffic since 2007. The airport authority, a department of the city of Los Angeles, also manages Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport
Ontario wants to regain control of the airport from Los Angeles and has sued to make that a reality. Ontario officials believe they could do a better job at managing the facility.