Delta Air Lines is launching a new route between Los Angeles and the resort area of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo on Mexico’s southwestern Pacific coast on December 20.
Initially Delta Air Lines will operate its new route between Los Angeles and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo mainly as a winter-season service, with round-trips scheduled to operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays between December 20 and March.
However, weekly Delta service on Saturdays will continue until September and the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo tourism authority, led by Ixtapa’s secretary for tourism, are conducting negotiations with the airline with the aim of upgrading the new Los Angeles flight into a year-round service.
Delta will operate the route with Airbus A320 single-aisle jets, each seating 150 passengers.
Its schedule for the route calls for its flight to depart Los Angeles International Airport (IATA code LAX) at 10:05 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 20, arriving at Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH) at 3:31 p.m. local time.
In the other direction, Delta’s flight will leave ZIH at 4:29 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 20, landing at LAX at 6:20 p.m. local time.
There is a two-hour time-zone difference between Los Angeles and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, the latter being two time zones ahead of U.S. Pacific time.
Accounting for this difference, it appears the outbound Delta flight between LAX and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo will have a block time of three hours 26 minutes, while the return flight will have a block time of three hours 51 minutes.
Another carrier serving Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo this winter is WestJet, which is operating a non-stop flight from Calgary International Airport (YYC) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays until April 25.
A second Canadian carrier, Sunwing Airlines, which already serves Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo seasonally from five other Canadian destinations, is adding weekly flights from Winnipeg (YWG), Kelowna (YLW) and Regina (YQR) to the Mexican resort destination from December 11 through April.
Sunwing also operates a program of non-stop flights to the destination from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.
The neighboring resort towns of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are located in the state of Guerrero, which the U.S. Department of State highlighted in an October 10 update to a Mexico travel warning to U.S. citizens which the department had issued in August.
In its October 10 update, the U.S. State Department noted that “Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2013, with 2,087 homicides and 207 reported cases of kidnapping, according to the Mexican Secretariado Ejecutivo Nacional de Seguridad Publica”.
The department advised U.S. tourists to “defer non-essential travel to all parts of the state, except for the cities of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Taxco, and the caves at Grutas de Cacahuamilpa”.
But while the October update did not advise American tourists against visiting Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Taxco and the caves at Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, it did note that, even in these “tourist-friendly” areas of Guerrero state, they should “exercise caution and stay within tourist areas”.
The updated warning also advised that U.S. tourists “should defer non-essential travel by land between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa; travel to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa only by air, and exercise caution while in Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa”.