by Michael J. Shapiro | January 31, 2017
As of this month, airlines have announced the addition of more than one million new seats scheduled this year on international direct flights to Mexico, from more than 20 countries, according to the Mexico Tourism Board. The new capacity includes new routes, additional flights on existing routes, and aircraft model and capacity upgrades.

"We are delighted to see our airline industry partners continue to recognize our momentum and further expand their connectivity," noted Lourdes Berho, CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board.  "While the 2016 Mexico tourism numbers are still being finalized, it's clear that we will have another record-setting year of industry-leading growth in terms of international visitors to Mexico."

Mexico's international tourism has grown at an average of 10 percent annually -- twice the global industry average, according to the board's statistics. The anticipated figure of 35 million international travelers received in 2016 would represent a nearly 46 percent increase compared to 2013. 

Eighteen airlines have either announced or recently launched international flights to Mexico, among them American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, United and Virgin America, from the U.S. Mexican carriers Aeromexico, Interjet and Volaris all have added multiple U.S. routes as well. Many additional routes have been added between Mexico and Canada, South America and Asia, respectively.

It's unclear whether current tensions between the U.S. and Mexico with respect to immigration, border security and trade will have an effect on air travel between the countries. The increased flight volumes and capacities all were approved and scheduled before the Trump administration took office.