Keep it simple. Often times that’s the best advice you can get. Especially if you want to run an airline.
TAR Airlines in Mexico seems to be doing just that, living up to their motto. Sporting a fleet of 9 Embraer ERJ145 jets, each with 50 seats, this upstart airline just might put some pressure on the big boys like Aeromexico to up their game.
I flew TAR recently from Oaxaca to Guadalajara and here is what I experienced.
From the person at the counter, to everyone on the flight crew, I was greeted and met with smiles. I felt that they were sincerely glad I was there, something often lacking at airport counters. I asked the woman at the check in counter, an employee for almost a year, how much she liked her job, and she just glowed… “It’s a wonderful job” she told me.
Along the lines of keeping it simple, instead of a boarding pass you might get on another airline, here I essentially got a receipt with my seat number on it. Then on the back, she put my luggage tag, which was hand numbered. Simple, quick and efficient.
The boarding process was easy as everyone had their seats already, so with your luggage flying free below, carry on space would be more than sufficient.
On board they offered free sodas, water and even beer on the 1.5 hour flight. The seats were like any other airline, so they were a little tight, but hey, I was flying to Guadalajara for $100.00. Less than the cost of a nice 14 hour bus ride!
When we got to Guadalajara, the luggage showed up quick and I was off.
Would I fly TAR again? If they go to my destination, in a minute. Look, they are sporting an above 90% on time performance rating according to OAG. That’s got to be worth something right? I know it is in my book.
Avoiding the black hole of Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City and offering non stop service between smaller Mexican airports is a great strategy, and that is exactly what TAR does.
The challenge they are going to have is resources. The flight from Guadalajara to Oaxaca arrived with about 10 people on board. Our flight back had about 30 people flying. I wonder if the pockets of the backers of TAR are deep enough to allow them the time to gain a foothold.
I hope they can because the Mexican airline system is a mess. Some airports struggle to achieve a 50% on time performance rating. The biggest carrier, Aeromexico runs at about 75% on time performance. And with only one major hub, in Mexico City, passengers are at the mercy of a system built around government regulations and a centralized system.
Let’s root for TAR and a few others to succeed. It will only be good for the thousands of people who travel to and visit My Mexico each year.