Canada-Latin America air market: visa changes and improving conditions

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Changes in Canada's visa policies for Mexico and Brazil helped boost overnight arrivals from those countries in 2017, according to Destination Canada. The largest increase in air capacity occurred between Canada and Mexico, driven in part by the expansion of services by Mexican airlines.

Despite expansion by Mexican airlines, seats dedicated to leisure routes continue to represent a significant amount of capacity between Mexico and Canada. There are some changes occurring in the Canada-Mexico market, as Aeromexico is dropping recently launched flights to Calgary. Its codeshare partner WestJet is launching service in the market shortly after Aeromexico's exit.

Destination Canada foresees prospects improving for air travel to Canada from Brazil. Although air capacity overall was lower in 2017, an increase during the last three months of the year is an encouraging trend. Air Canada has cited a turnaround in the Brazilian market after cutting service to the country during Brazil's economic downturn.

In the future, Brazil could be in WestJet's sights as it studies where to deploy the Boeing 787-9 widebodies that begin their WestJet operations in 2019.

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