Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 | 2:09 p.m.
Frontier Airlines plans to offer nonstop flights to Mexican resort towns of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas from McCarran International Airport, marking the first such direct international service at the airport from a U.S.-based airline in about 10 years, said Chris Jones, the chief marketing officer for McCarran.
“All of our (non-stop) flights that have gone out of the country for almost the last 10 years have been from a British flag carrier, a Mexican or Canadian flag carrier and so on,” Jones said. “Frontier is adding international destinations and that’s a big deal for us because we’ve been wondering at what point we would start to see U.S. carriers start to go in that direction.”
The flights will travel to Cancun on Mondays and Fridays, and to Cabo San Lucas on Saturdays. They will begin in December.
“We are excited to continue our mission to make flying affordable for Las Vegas with two new international options,” said Josh Flyr, vice president of network and revenue for Frontier Airlines. “(We) are proud to offer the only international service by a U.S. carrier here. We now serve the Las Vegas community with 31 non-stop options which support both the growth of the tourism industry and offers more choices for locals to enjoy.”
The addition of more non-stop flights to Mexico is a two-fold benefit for the Las Vegas, Jones said.
“Usually when we add new service the focus is usually on visitors coming into Las Vegas,” he said. “One of the things that’s advantageous about these two destinations is these are locations that people from Las Vegas like to visit when they travel. So, I think you’ll see a greater number of locals using this as a means of taking their own vacations.”
Frontier also runs a non-stop flight to Canada, but that flight is a temporary basis. Additionally, American Airlines will offer non-stop flights to and from Japan on a temporary basis to accommodate CES travelers in January.
Jones hopes for this will be a spring board to other U.S. carriers to begin offering non-stop flights to other international destinations out of McCarran.
“We’ve heard a lot of tires kicked by carriers over the years, talking about Mexico, Canada and maybe or somewhere farther and this is the first,” he said. “It would not surprise me that other low-cost carriers join suit at some point. We’re getting a good mix of scheduled as well as seasonal, event-based trials.
“As Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and other traditional points that airlines at other airports cover as their U.S. entry points, it will make more sense for them to look at (Las Vegas as) where they can fly in non-stop into the U.S. market, that people want to visit.”