China Southern Is Adding Flights Between Vancouver And Mexico City (Sort Of)

Next week Japan-based ANA will begin daily nonstop flights between Tokyo Narita and Mexico City Airport, which will make them the only Asian airline to operate flights to Mexico (though Aeromexico operates a few flights to Asia).

ana-787-business-class-1

Mexico can be a tough market for Asian carriers to crack. Not only is it Mexico really far from most of Asia, but Mexico City Airport is also at an altitude of ~7,300 feet, meaning that takeoff performance is reduced, so planes don’t have the range and power they’d have at an airport closer to sea level.

For example, in May Aeromexico will begin flying between Mexico City and Seoul Incheon, though on the outbound the flight will operate via Monterrey.

Well, it looks like Mexico will soon get their second flight from an Asian carrier, and this one operates via Canada.

As of April 10, 2017, China Southern will launch 3x weekly flights between Guangzhou and Mexico City, which will stop in Vancouver in both directions.

CAN-YVR-MEX

The flight will operate with the following schedule:

CZ377 Guangzhou to Vancouver departing 11:30PM arriving 8:35PM
CZ377 Vancouver to Mexico City departing 10:05PM arriving 5:15AM (+1 day)

CZ378 Mexico City to Vancouver departing 7:45AM arriving 10:55AM
CZ378 Vancouver to Guangzhou departing 12:25PM arriving 4:30PM (+1 day)

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 787-8, featuring four first class seats, 24 business class seats, and 200 economy class seats.

China-Southern-787

Initially I was excited about this route because I was hoping you’d be able to fly China Southern exclusively between Vancouver and Mexico City, much like you can fly Cathay Pacific between Vancouver and New York.

However, unfortunately China Southern won’t have local traffic rights between Canada and Mexico (at least initially), so you’ll only be able to book the flight either from Guangzhou to Vancouver, or from Guangzhou to Mexico City.

The Guangzhou to Vancouver flight complements China Southern’s existing daily flights in the market. Given the lack of local traffic rights, I suspect the Vancouver to Mexico City flight won’t be especially full.

Comments

  1. The lack of Canada-Mexico traffic rights shouldn’t last long. The real limit here is landing slots at MEX. The airport is old and small for a city of 22 million, expansion is impossible because it’s so hemmed in by growth, approaches through the mountains are narrow, city populations don’t like noise, and mountain weather is not especially predictable.

    Mexico is building a new airport on stilts, hanging in the air above lake Texcoco—yes, including runways—because that’s the only place there is space to grow.

    So once China Southern has obtained its landing slot, the rest of the permissions should come quickly.

  2. While it would be nice to fly this route on an Int’l 787 the timing is terrible with that redeye on a sub 5 hour flight.

  3. Ben, a small typo which however changes the sentence’s meaning in a funny way – after all, YVR does have lighting: “lights” should be “rights”

  4. Owen, the new Mexico City is being built on a lakebed and not a lake. In fact much of the city lies on a former lakebed. Not great in earthquakes.

  5. Doubt the YVR-MEX portion will see many passengers due to Canada’s visa policy, which requires most passengers to have an eTA or a Canadian visa for layover (even when YVR already has a sterile international transit area in addition to its post-preclearance zone), and the process of securing a visa can take a good two to three weeks. CA’s YUL-HAV has been reduced to 1x weekly because of this reason despite having fifth freedom on that route.

  6. @TC

    But for Mexicans in Vancouver, or Mexicans wanting to go to Vancouver it is another option. Especially, since Mexicans are not required to have visas for stays up to six months, i believe.

  7. @Martin “the new Mexico City is being built on a lakebed and not a lake.”

    Lake Texcoco fills in wet years. Even in relatively dry years, a runway would collapse on the wet mud in the August monsoon. The airport is to be set on caissons sunk deep, deep into the lakebed to rest on bedrock. Then the caissons will have steel towers set into them and the airport will hang above the lake level, suspended by trusses and cables. When the lake fills, the water will be under the airport.

    And Mexico actually does pretty well in earthquakes for a city built on mud facing 7-8 point temblors. I’ve been knocked out of my chair occasionally, but ultimately there’s only one in a century that did a lot of damage. (the Big One in 1985)

  8. @M Read Lucky’s post. CZ does NOT have fifth freedom rights like CA does, so they cannot solely carry passengers from YVR to MEX.

    A sidenote: Mexico is a potential market for Chinese travelers given that over three million Chinese already hold valid U.S. visas which can also be used to enter Mexico, so the incentive to get a separate Canadian visa just for passing through the airport is pretty low. Plus, that’s TON of paperwork involved.

  9. Hello… I am looking to fly on ChinaSouthern from JFK to BKK (Thailand) in business class. Can someone give me a review of the airline please? Thank you so much!

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