When Aeromexico’s Anko van der Werff, chief revenue officer, sat down with CT Magazine earlier this month, the airline was just approaching its one-year anniversary of direct service between Mexico City and Toronto, which commenced May 4, 2015.
It was Aeromexico’s second route connecting Canada to Mexico’s capital city and beyond, (preceded by service from Montreal) and was followed thereafter in December 2015 with the launch of a YVR-MEX route as well.
“It was a busy year last year,” van der Werff said from the tradeshow floor of Tianguis Turistico, the foremost promotional platform for Mexico's tourism sector. “In the space of 12 months, we opened eight international destinations. Vancouver and Toronto were two of them.”
And business is booming, he admits, relishing in the success of these routes thus far, which he said have exceeded expectations.
“Vancouver has been an absolute star, and Toronto, we’re very happy with because, of course it is a stronghold of a competitor of ours, but we did get in.”
So what are some sales points the airline executive has to offer up to Canadian travel agents?
1. Sell the routes to you Central & South American clientele.
“Many Central and South Americans want to travel on a Spanish-speaking airline, and not every single Latin airline has Canada covered the way we have – especially with the connections we have within Central & South America, and of course our access to the Mexican beaches, plus our access to Mexican business destinations. It’s not just Mexico City-based traffic; it’s a lot of connections within Mexico.”
2. Sell for the connections.
Pointing out Aeromexico’s growing fleet, the executive said, “We have $11 billion worth of Boeing equipment – part of it has already been delivered and the rest is on order – we have nine 787s and a further 10 more coming. Canadians can connect in Mexico City to 46 domestic destinations and 41 international destinations, such as Buenos Ares or Santiago de Chile, to name a few.”
3. Leverage this access to sell Mexico beyond the sun and beach.
Van der Werff, who hails from the Netherlands, is a big proponent of travellers exploring Mexico beyond the sun and beach. “If your clients insist on staying in resorts, make sure they take day trips to places like Tulum, Chichén Itzá or Palenque. I’ve been to Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat – places like Palenque totally rival with that. It’s so exciting and mysterious to walk around in the jungle to realize that 1,000 years ago, there was a huge civilisation, where people were way ahead of everyone else on the planet. There are so many layers – and it’s all topped off with sun and beach and food. Museums! Some of the best museums in the world are in Mexico City. So, what’s not to like!”