Bizav Ops to Mexican Resort Destinations – Part 2: Fuel, Catering, Cabotage & Local Area

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Bizav Ops to Mexican Resort Destinations – Part 2: Fuel, Catering, Cabotage & Local Area
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week entitled “Bizav Ops to Mexican Resort Destinations – Part 1: Airports & Permits.”

This is a post by author Jorge Alva and Jana Lopez. Jorge and Jana are based at Universal Aviation Mexico, which has an FBO facility in Toluca and aircraft ground handling facilities in Cancun, Los Cabos, and Cozumel. Jorge and Jana are experts on business aircraft operations in Mexico and can be contacted at jorgealva@universalaviation.aero or janalopez@universalaviation.aero.

The good news for general aviation (GA) operators heading to popular Mexican resort destinations during peak travel season is that availability of parking, crew accommodations and comprehensive support services are the best they’ve been.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1.Aviation fuel uplifts

Fuel uplifts are available at all above locations and aviation cards are commonly accepted. While it’s recommended to carry a fuel release this is not necessary for most locations. Federally run Aeropuerto Servicios Auxiliares (ASA) fuel services are available at all airports but some airports, including Puerto Vallarta (MMPR), Guadalajara (MMGL), and Cabo San Lucas (MMSL), also have their own GA fuel trucks. Note that fuel prices are set every Tuesday and prices non-negotiable and not volume based. When using dedicated fix-based operator (FBO) fuel trucks, rather than ASA trucks, you’ll also pay an into-plane fee. This fee may be negotiated with the FBO based on fuel volume uplifted.

2.In-flight catering

In-flight catering services are available at all of the above resort area destinations. We recommend placing catering orders at least 24 hours prior to the estimated time of departure (ETD). Note that there may be locations where crews are restricted from sourcing catering from local hotels or restaurants. For example, Cancun (MMUN) has a monopoly on catering and local transport and you must use designated providers in all cases. The FBO here is very strict. Crews have encountered problems when trying to source their own catering at this location.

3.Noise restrictions

There are currently no Stage 2 noise restriction or curfews in place at any airport in Mexico.

4.Cabotage considerations

Private non-revenue operators have no real limitations in terms of cabotage and may transport who they please where they please within Mexico. This includes moving Mexican nationals within the country. However, be mindful that you’ll need to provide the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with a list of passengers on each flight leg. Cabotage rules and restrictions are strictly enforced in terms of charter operations.

5.Hotels and transport

There are plenty of 4- and 5-star hotel accommodations at popular resort areas, including international chain brands. Accommodation options seldom hit 100% occupancy even during peak holiday periods. Plan on 200-250 USD/night for 4-star crew accommodations during the high season. For local travel pre-paid (car with driver) transport is recommended. Taking official airport transport from the airport is generally safe but avoid jumping in public taxis off airport. UBER services are available in many parts of Mexico and this also works fine. If you’re very familiar with the local area, rental cars are also an option. At some destinations, including Mexico City and Guadalajara, driving can be challenging and road signage poor.

6. Additional Reading: Mexico Resort Destinations

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.

Conclusion

Though fuel release forms aren’t needed when traveling to Mexico, it’s always recommended to have a copy onboard. For in-flight catering services, do ensure that you provide appropriate lead time. Last, cabotage very strict for charter operators, so it’s imperative that operators adhere to those regulations.

Stay tuned for Part 3, which covers passports, visas, customs and immigration when traveling to Mexico.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Mexico, contact Jorge Alva at jorgealva@universalaviation.aero or janalopez@universalaviation.aero.

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Jorge Alva is an expert on business aviation operations and ensuring maintenance of global standards, safety and compliance at the ground support level throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2011, he has served as Regional Director of Operations, Latin America and Caribbean, for Universal Aviation. Prior to his current role, Jorge, who has been with Universal Aviation since 1999, served as Operations Manager for Universal Aviation Mexico – Toluca. Jorge’s experience also includes 18 years as a flight engineer, where he accumulated more than 8,000 flight hours. Jorge has a mechanical engineering degree from Universidad Iberoamericana and a graduate degree in business strategy and development from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Jorge can be reached at jorgealva@universalaviation.aero.

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Customer Service Branding Coordinator Jana Lopez is a member of Universal Aviation Mexico Ops Team. Over her seven years with Universal Jana has been highly regarded among clients for her focus on details and constant ability to exceed customer expectations. Areas of expertise include client relations, client service and timely trip cost estimates. She’s also responsible for Universal Aviation Mexico’s Customer Service Team and maintaining the high standards of the Toluca (MMTO) FBO. Jana works closely with her team to ensure customer service requirements and operations are integrated, with all necessary resources available to support each client request. Prior to joining Universal Jana earned a BA in English, as well as in-service teaching qualification, from Cambridge University. She’s fluent in English, French and Spanish and can be reached at janalopez@universalaviation.aero.

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