There’s an intriguing little mystery about the scheduling of Mexican carrier Volaris Airlines’ newly announced service between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Tijuana (TIJ),...

There’s an intriguing little mystery about the scheduling of Mexican carrier Volaris Airlines’ newly announced service between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Tijuana (TIJ), due to begin on August 28.

Volaris, which is headquartered in the Mexico City suburb of Santa Fe and which has prided itself on its efficiency and low costs since it began flying in 2006, is adding Tijuana as a destination from Oakland after beginning service to the Bay Area city from both Guadalajara (GDL) and its home base, Toluca (TLC), on July 16.


Mexican carrier Volaris Airlines' first two flights landed at Oakland on July 16, 2009

Mexican carrier Volaris Airlines' first two flights at Oakland landed ― from Guadalajara and Toluca ― on July 16, 2009

Here is Volaris’ entire daily Oakland schedule, as of August 28: GDL-OAK departs at 21:10 and arrives at 23:05; TLC-OAK departs at 21:30 and arrives at 23:55; OAK-TLC departs at 00:30 and arrives at 06:50; OAK-GDL departs at 01:00 and arrives at 06:50; TIJ-OAK departs at 11:45 and arrives at 13:25; and OAK-TIJ departs at 21:30 and arrives at 23:00. Our bet is that the outbound OAK-TLC flight is being operated by the aircraft that comes in from GDL and the outbound OAK-GDL flight is being operated by the aircraft that arrives at OAK from TLC.

If you look closely at the airline’s overall schedule to Oakland, you’ll see that the airline has scheduled reasonably tight turn-around times at OAK after the inbound flights from TLC and GDL. However, given the timings of Volaris’ three arrivals at OAK, there seems no way that the outbound OAK-TIJ flight can be operated by any aircraft but the aircraft which arrives from TIJ.

But since the third aircraft arrives from TIJ at 13:25 and doesn’t leave OAK until 21:30 (to allow for convenient connections at TIJ to Acapulco, Morelia, Los Cabos, Guadalajara, Uruapan, Oaxaca and Culiacan), this apparently leaves it sitting on the ground at Oakland for slightly over 8 hours ― surely not an efficient use of the aircraft’s time at an outlying station where Volaris probably doesn’t have significant line-maintenance resources in place.

Is Volaris going to add another route or service to Oakland soon and cross-schedule the aircraft that arrives from TIJ to make better use of this A319’s time?