New air service between Sky Harbor and Tijuana announced as Baja Calif. governor visits Ariz.

American Airlines recently announced new international service to Tijuana, Baja Calif., Mexico. The route joins several others offered by American and other carriers from Phoenix to Mexico, but it’s the first to Mexico’s second-largest city by population, an emerging tech and industrial hub.

“Phoenix and Mexico share strong trade and tourism connections, and this new direct route to Tijuana further reinforces our partnership,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said. “We expect the new flight to generate $10 million in economic impact every year and ultimately help us on our mission to diversify and fortify Phoenix’s growing economy, particularly in the manufacturing industry. I want to thank the great Aviation Team and American Airlines for all of their hard work to make today’s announcement possible.”

Phoenix serves as the sole United States destination for Tijuana, with TIJ Airport ranking among Mexico’s most well-connected hubs, offering flights to more than 40 domestic destinations.

Phoenix Sky Harbor now includes Tijuana as its 14th Mexican destination served by American Airlines. The presence of international flights holds significant economic advantages for the local community. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these international flights contributed an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

“This new air service to Tijuana strengthens our mutually beneficial economic ties to Mexico, opening even more avenues for trade and travel. Phoenix continues to be a destination of choice for investment and leisure, and we are providing yet another opportunity” Phoenix Councilwoman Ann O’Brien said.

The announcement coincided with a visit to Arizona by Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda and Kurt Ignacio Honold Morales, the state’s secretary of the economy. 

In a roundtable with business leaders and representatives of the Arizona Commerce Authority, including ACA President and CEO Sandra Watson, Del Pilar touted Baja California as a destination for nearshoring, as manufacturers reconsider manufacturing in Asia and look for operations closer to the U.S. with more resilient supply chains. 

Baja California has the largest concentration of aerospace companies in Mexico, and the state touts more than 80 companies in life sciences, with the San Diego-Baja California region contributing more than $250 billion in the sector, which includes medical devices, biotech, and pharmaceuticals.

Honold said Baja California, Sonora, California, and Arizona should be thought of as a mega region of more than 50 million people that “can win the race for nearshoring and the future.”

In addition to the roundtable, Del Pilar met with representatives from the state’s three public universities, executives at Footprint, which has operations in Mexicali, and with Gov. Kaite Hobbs.

“It is a strategic goal of our government to consolidate a strong relationship with our neighboring states to strengthen supply chains in priority economic sectors such as semiconductors, medical and aerospace among many others,” Del Pilar said on social media.

Photo courtesy Gov. Del Pilar Facebook

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