Continental’s Mexican Sneak Attack


Today Continental announced new flights between its Houston home and Loreto, in Baja California. This isn’t necessarily news in itself, but many people would probably be surprised to hear that this is Continental’s 31st Mexican destination.

Most people in the US couldn’t name 31 cities in Mexico, so I think just about everyone would be surprised at all these flights. Check out this route map, constructed as usual using the Great Circle Mapper.


The most amazing part of this is that the airline flies to some places that not even Mexican airlines fly. For example, they have a Monday through Friday flight from Houston to Monclova. This is a small industrial town of about 240,000 people located in the northeast of the country, just over 100 miles northwest of Monterrey. No other airline flies here, but Continental can support a daily weekday flight.

Most of their success is based on the fortunate location of the Houston hub. The strong ties between Texas and Mexico have enabled all these flights to happen. All the local and connecting traffic makes Houston an ideal location.

As you can see, Continental has also seen some opportunity from Los Angeles and is starting to add a handful of flights there as well. This seems to be an underserved market, and it’s surprising to me that it took someone like Continental, an airline without a major LAX presence, to start these flights. Still, congratulations to them for really taking advantage of such a huge ignore opportunity.

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