San Antonio International Airport
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- San Antonio
- United States of America
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- San Antonio Kelly AFB
- 2591m x 46m
2288m x 46m
1682m x 30m
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Delta Air Lines
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- Aer Lingus
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Location of San Antonio International Airport, United States of America
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170 total articles
15 total articles
A newly revised air services agreement between Mexico and the US that eases limits on the number of airlines allowed to operate on routes between the two countries is a welcome development for airlines operating in both regions. But it is particularly interesting for Mexico’s airlines given that their penetration in the transborder space still pales in comparison to US airlines operating between the two countries.
The new pact does not take effect until Jan-2016, which means that the lifting of restrictions is some way in the future. But in the meantime Mexico’s airlines still have ample opportunity under the existing agreement, and are no doubt evaluating new opportunities created by the new air services arrangement.
Mexico and the US struck the new accord as all of Mexico’s airlines are making a transborder push to diversify from the domestic market, which has been weaker the last couple of years due to Mexico’s sluggish economy. Key to the execution of the expansion is ensuring demand is robust enough in transborder markets in order to maintain favourable yields on those routes.
US airlines are bolstering their service to the Caribbean as macroeconomic conditions in Latin American remain tenuous for the short term. With the current service and planned additions to the Caribbean, airlines may need to brace themselves for some pressure on yields due to oversupply.
Even with increases in industry capacity, two airlines that have recorded ample increases in their respective supply from the US to the Caribbean – JetBlue and United – feel reasonably confident however that the region will generate a performance that will make a positive contribution to each airline’s respective bottom lines.
JetBlue in particular stresses that it is prepared to weather the ebb and flows of industry capacity to the Caribbean since the region remains a key element in its overall network, reflected in its plans to open between three and five destinations from the US to Latin America and the Caribbean in CY2015.
This is Part 2 of a report on JetBlue's strategy.
Mexican airlines Aeromexico and Volaris are sticking to their proclaimed strategies of deploying most of their capacity into international markets as the Mexican economy slowly rebounds from a sluggish 2013. Through the first eight months of 2014 each airline increased their international capacity and traffic significantly, betting that yields are stronger in international markets.
The competitive overlap between Aeromexico and Volaris on each airline’s top US transborder markets is not overwhelming, and Volaris has previously stated that it is targeting routes with a higher percentage of visiting, friends and relatives (VFR) travellers.
Aeromexico’s and Volaris’ rival VivaAerobus is also making a new transborder push during 2014, upping competition with Aeromexico and Interjet on some of its international services. It is tough to determine if the push is creating oversupply; but the international growth indicates Mexico’s airlines are attempting to counter weaker yields on the country’s domestic routes.
The development of the new generation wide body aircraft such as Boeing's 787 and Airbus' A350 may soon lead to direct services from European hubs to a growing number of secondary cities in North America. The EU-US Open Skies agreement opened up the market to a large degree, but hub economics mean that most EU airlines still focus their large wide body operations on the major gateways. In practical terms, once they land at the main US hubs, access to airports beyond remains restricted.
It may be some time before European airlines can operate from and to secondary cities at both ends of the route, but operators of these more fuel efficient and smaller wide bodies can offer direct flights from their hubs in Europe to US cities that were once only 'beyonds'.
Criteria for choosing US cities are likely to include population, importance as a tourist destination, airport size and the presence of network carriers to add feed (possibly in preference to LCCs). New cities such as San Antonio, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and even Honolulu may be under consideration in the coming years.
Mexican low-cost airline VivaAerobus is making a US transborder push in 2H2014 after flirting with the market during the past few years with various routes that were ultimately culled.
Presently VivaAerobus operates a single transborder route, offering flights from its base in Monterrey to Houston Intercontinental. Its decision to re-launch some transborder flights and enter into new US markets is likely driven by its introduction of more fuel efficient Airbus A320s during 2014, and challenges faced by all Mexico’s domestic airlines in recovering pricing traction as a result of tenuous economic conditions in the country.
Armed with newer aircraft and a knowledge of transborder market dynamics, VivaAerobus has a reasonable chance of success on its new routes. But in some of the markets it faces familiar competitors that are also looking to improve their fortunes by exploiting opportunities for better margins from transborder service.
As Mexico’s aviation industry continues to evolve post-deregulation, the country’s largest carriers are working to entrench themselves in their respective business models. With Aeromexico clearly the country’s full-service carrier and VivaAerobus and Volaris adopting more ultra low-cost strategies, Interjet is assuming the role of Mexico’s hybrid carrier – touting both a more upscale product and lower costs.
Since its inception roughly eight years ago, Interjet has grown quickly, and is consistently ranked as Mexico’s second largest domestic carrier behind Grupo Aeromexico. Now it seems as if Interjet and Volaris trade off for those rights as each carrier has dedicated some of its expansion to international markets. Interjet now serves four Latin American markets and five destinations in North America.
Interjet seems poised to solidify its hybrid model in 2014 as headlines have emerged that it is looking to align with foreign carriers and aims to keep its less-dense fleet configuration as Volaris adds seats to its Airbus A320s to further lower cost. It also continues to add smaller 93-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100s to its fleet, which reflects Interjet’s strategy of offering its hybrid product in Mexico’s smaller markets.