By Albert Kuan
Mexico’s Calafia Airlines Makes Another Move for Leisure Travelers
Beginning April 29, Tijuana Airport (TIJ) will have an air link with Puerto Peñasco via Calafia Airlines. The governor of Mexico’s Sonora state, along with directors of Calafia Airlines and tourism officials, announced the new service at a press conference Tuesday.
Calafia Airlines will operate twice weekly — on Monday and Friday — a short-hop service linking the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area with the Mexican beach city in Sonora state 300 miles away using its Embraer ERJ 145 jets. The airline based in Cabo San Lucas operates regular scheduled flights within Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and cities along the Mexican Pacific coast.
On Mondays, Calafia Airlines Flight 901 leaves Tijuana at 10:15 a.m. and arrives in Puerto Penasco in the same time zone at 11:25 a.m. The flight then returns back to Tijuana at 11:50 a.m. and arrives back at 12:55 p.m.
On Fridays, Calafia Airlines Flight 901 leaves 90 minues later at 11:45 a.m. and arrives in Puerto Peñasco at 12:55 p.m. The flight then returns back to Tijuana at 1:20 p.m., arriving back at 2:25 p.m.
The service will be the shortest commercial flight operating out of Tijuana International Airport at 70 minutes, beating Volaris’ twice daily service to Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state, which is blocked at 82 minutes.
Calafia Airlines’s three ERJ 145 jets, the largest in the regional airline’s fleet, have seating capactiy for 50 travelers in economy class configuration. Eight seats are designated with more space. Travelers on Calafira will also be able to check-in one bag free of charge.
Calafia Airlines also posseses a fleet of two Embraer 120ERs and one Embraer ERJ 145. From Tijuana, travelers flying Calafia Airlines can connect onwards to Loreto and La Paz, Mexico in Baja California Sur state.
The new route is targeted to bring travelers from Tijuana and Southern California to beach and fishing attraction in Puerto Peñasco. Puerto Peñasco is well-known amongst Mexicans and tourists from nearby Arizona for its resort-style hotels, shopping centers, water sports and golf courses.
The Governor of Mexico’s Sonora state, Alfonso Durazno, acknowledged Califonia is also a market with high purchasing power. Durazno hopes Calafia’s new service will attract California tourists to the coastal attractions of Sonora state.
“[The new service] creates more transportation options to those that Puerto Peñasco already has on land and this, then, will allow us to offer all the attractions of this extraordinary city to the Tijuana market, but particularly to the California, United States market.” Durazno explained.
Cross Border Xpress, an enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting Tijuana International Airport with San Diego, allows air traverlers to cross the border between Mexico and the U.S.
With Calafia’s arrival in Puerto Penasco, Puerto Peñasco’s Mar de Cortes International Airport will once again be served by commercial flights. Mexico’s TAR Airlines was the last airline to operate flights to Mar de Cortes International Airport. TAR operated scheduled flights to Puerto Peñasco from Hermosillo, Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico for a short period between July and November 2016.