Mexico’s Low-Cost Airlines Rock

By David Simmonds

As recently noted, low-cost carrier Azteca Airlines has gone the way of the Aztecs, without the violence and bloodshed. But many other budget airlines seem to be thriving and providing something Mexico has needed for years…domestic competition to Aeromexico and Mexicana, the big dogs. 

I recently needed to get to Puerto Vallarta for about the 100th time (I forget exactly why) and with the San Diego to PV round-trip option priced at about $400.00 I decided to give one of the new carriers a try. Avolar, based in Tijuana, had web site rates that would get me to Tepic, about 100 miles from PV, for about $170.00 RT. This required a three-hour, $15.00 bus ride from Tepic to PV, but it’s a visually stunning drive and allows you to settle in to your Mexico psyche, enhanced by grabbing a couple of to-go cold cervezas at the bus terminal. I’m not sure I will take that option every time, but it worked out well and I saved about $200.00, more than enough for a few nights at the incomparable Posade de Roger with some left over to bribe my wife with a nice silver bracelet upon my return. Two hundred bucks to get to and from Vallarta. Hell, I spent that much on a two-hour concert in San Diego this summer.

So far the budget airlines are flying only within Mexico, but the prices are great and they get you from town to town without having to hub through Mexico City, which can add most of a day to your trip. Here is a list of some of the better options: