ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque International Sunport is not living up to its name. Less than two weeks after a direct flight from Albuquerque to Chihuahua launched, the airline has pulled out.
It’s not the ending the city wanted, but it is the reality Mayor Tim Keller seemed to hit at last Tuesday. “Basically, we’re in transition and we’re continuing to test new routes,” he said. “It would be great to say everything is locked in, but that’s not how this business works.”
Now, it’s apparent, nothing worked. The airline flying directly from Albuquerque to Chihuahua pulled out of the deal after just two round-trip flights.
Volaris will not be flying any more flights in and out of the Sunport, and the city says they won’t be working with them again after they canceled two flights to Guadalajara and Chihuahua.
We have never seen anything like this before. This is kind of just extreme, unprofessional behavior,” Director of Aviation Nyika Allen said.
Allen says they learned Volaris canceled all future flights on Friday morning.
“They weren’t seeing enough people buying tickets and getting on the plane,” adding it can take a year or two for a flight to become successful, and Volaris wasn’t willing to wait.
Allen says they want to be an international airport, and while they can do more to make flights successful, they’ll always need time to do it.
“Certainly we can do more to push out marketing, but we need that time as well to get flights to work,” she said.
The Sunport says it expects Volaris to refund travelers who already bought tickets. The Sunport is also adding up what money it believes the owes for marketing and storage, and is considering legal action.