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Introduction to TAR Aerolineas
The TAR Aerolíneas airline codes are: IATA Code: YQ // ICAO Code: LCT
The creation of Mexico’s most recent regional airline happened on January 15, 2014., thus placing Transportes Aéreos Regionales, owned by Grupo Mafra**, in the fray for the ever-increasing number of passengers travelling by way of Mexico’s air sector.
The airline is owned by Grupo Mafra of Queretaro, whose slogan is ‘We Make it Happen’
TAR Aerolíneas is the airline’s commercial name, the official name being ‘LINK Conexión Aérea S.A. de C.V.;’ it was granted its operational concession by Mexico’s Transport & Communications Ministry (SCT) on April 12, 2012.
The airline received its operational concession in April 2012., and launched services in March 2014
This was the regional airline’s original expansion plan, as stated by Rodrigo Vasquez Colmenares, CEO of TAR Aerolíneas, prior to the launch of operations: “We are launching a new cellular-based multi-regional concept that will allow us to boost our presence in five well defined regions of Mexico,” they are: Central/North, Sea of Cortez, West, Gulf of Mexico and the Mayan World, in that order.
TAR’s expansion plan incorporated five well-defined regions of Mexico, according to its CEO
TAR Aerolíneas received delivery of its first Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft, with capacity for 50 passengers and a seat pitch of 31 inches, in January 2014., and launched services on March 3, 2014., out of its operational base at the Intercontinental Airport of Querétaro, with 3 of the said aircraft, for which, according to the airline’s CEO, Grupo Mafra invested an initial US$21 million dollars, plus a further US$4 million for the supporting infrastructure, bringing the total initial investment to US$25 million, roughly MXN 265 million, at the time.
Initial investment in TAR Aerolíneas was US$ 25 million for both operations and support
The company’s initial destination portfolio included Acapulco and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (Guerrero), Aguascalientes (Aguascalientes), Durango (Durango), Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco), Los Mochis (Sinaloa), Monterrey (Nuevo León), Querétaro (Querétaro) and Tampico (Tamaulipas).
TAR Aerolíneas’ initial route network included 10 domestic destinations in 8 states
Although the official base of the company remains at Querétaro Airport, it has already expanded its geographical coverage through several hubs and focus cities since its launch; as of Jan. 2018, the company is operating three additional hubs, at Guadalajara’s Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport, at Monterrey’s Mariano Escobedo International Airport and at Puerto Vallarta International Airport (see below).
In Feb. 2018., TAR was operating 3 focus cities: Guadalajara, Monterrey and Puerto Vallarta
The airline began operations at the Monterrey (MTY) Mariano Escobedo International Airport on March 13, 2014., the city also known as the Pearl of the North, with flights from Queretaro, the airline’s original base. It followed up its arrival here with flights to Durango and Tampico. Nowadays -March 2019- the company links MTY with 5 direct destinations.
This airline launched services from Guadalajara on March 19, 2014., with flights to Puerto Vallarta
Guadalajara has since established itself as the company’s second operational base since it began operations there, also in March 2014; as of March 2019, the company directly connects Guadalajara with 5 cities, whilst its Queretaro operations offer 15 destinations.
TAR launched its Toluca services on April 28, 2014., though it has since withdrawn all services from this airport
With the launch of its services in Toluca, TAR began its third operational base, from where it initially offered services to Monterrey (MTY), followed by Acapulco, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca City, Huatulco and Veracruz, and though it reached a total of 11 routes from the capital of the State of Mexico, located just 40 Kms. from Mexico City, the airline no longer operates at this airport.
Toluca has traditionally been the main option for airlines that prefer not to operate from Mexico City
TAR Aerolíneas registered its 100,000th passenger on Dec. 29, 2014., Sra. Rebeca del Rocío de Lara, to whom the company awarded free transport for the whole of 2015; the said figure translates to an average of 10,000 passengers per month for its first 10 months of operations, and continued with the same average figure to close its first full year of operations with 120,000 passengers.
TAR Aerolíneas became the first airline in Latin America to accept Bitcoin on June 3, 2015
In June 2015, TAR announced an investment of US$ 35 million for the acquisition of a further 5 Embraer 145 aircraft, along with new infrastructure for its crew members. At the time, the airline was still operating with 3 aircraft and offering 12 national destinations; the company estimated it would increase its destination portfolio to 26 Mexican cities once it had incorporated all the new aircraft, though by March 2016 it already served 29 destinations with 7 active aircraft.
The company announced a US$35 million investment in June 2015 for a further 5 Embraer aircraft
In April 2017, TAR Aerolíneas joined Aeroméxico, Volaris and Interjet to offer its services on the travel search platform Reservamos.mx, which, though not one of the world’s leading Global Distribution Systems, at least places the airline in a position to offer its services to an ever-increasing number of potential clients. The service launched its new search platform in Nov. 2016, offering travel services including coach, shared-car trips and air services in Mexico and the United States.
In April 2017, TAR joined the travel search platform Reservamos.mx to reach more potential clients
TAR signed an agreement with Mexico’s National Transformation Industry Chamber (Canacintra) in August 2017, offering discounts of between 10 and 40% to the employees of the 830 member companies of the Chamber, which operate in 13 industrial sectors of the Republic. Canacintra has 80 regional offices throughout Mexico so there should be a good uptake on these special discounts, whether the employees are travelling for work or leisure.
In August 2017, TAR signed an agreement with Canacintra offering discounts of 10-40%
On Feb. 06, 2018., Revenue Management Systems, an Accelya Group Company (RMS), announced in a press release that TAR Aerolíneas had become its latest customer with regard to its revenue management solutions for the aviation, rail, and cargo industries; the company stated in the press release that it is currently working with over 90 airlines, so TAR should benefit from this new service throughout 2018. For his part, Miguel Legorreta, Director of Revenue Management & Pricing for the airline said: “At TAR Airlines we are committed to continue growing and serving more customers in Mexico and beyond; that’s why we have selected airRM as the cornerstone of this growth process,” the airRM is a brand name of the Revenue Management System company.
TAR increased its annual seat offering departing from MTY in 2017 by no less than 20% over 2016
According to anna.aero, in its airport analysis on Monterrey’s Mariano Escobedo International Airport, published on Jan. 8, 2018., TAR Aerolineas offered a total of departing seats from MTY throughout 2017 of 101,200 and stated that the airline had increased its annual seat offering from the airport by 20% throughout 2017.
Throughout 2017, TAR Aerolíneas had a 1.3% participation in Mexico’s domestic niche
Finally, in 2018, TAR Aerolíneas continued its focus on the domestic market in Mexico, more precisely, by adding 5 new direct routes from its base at Querétaro Intercontinental Airport -as of June 18- when it added the following options out of QRO: Mérida, Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, Tampico and Veracruz, to increase its destination portfolio from its base to 15 direct destinations.
TAR Aerolíneas upped its offering from its base at Querétaro to provide 15 direct domestic destinations from its main base in June 2018
This regional airline also increased its fleet by adding a further Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft -also in June, 2018- to bring the company’s total fleet to 11 of the said aircraft, the most recent addition, according to TAR’s director general, Rodrigo Vasquez Colmenares, in interview with the local newspaper El Financiero, will be used to cover charter operations.
For the first time, this regional carrier began offering Package Deals in July 2018, under the brand name “Star Travel”
And, although it hasn’t yet happened, Rodrigo Vázquez Colmenares, the director general of TAR, has stated that though the comapny’s plans to expand internationally have been placed on the back burner for the moment, the idea is still on the cards for the future, though no specific time scale has been given.
TAR Aerolineas is planning to incorporate services to the Caribbean islands sometime in the future
TAR Aerolineas Passenger Numbers
TAR Aerolineas launched its services as of March 3, 2014., and over the first 10 months of operations Mexico’s Transport & Communications Ministry (SCT) registered 97,158 passengers having been served by the airline, all of which were transported in the domestic market; the airline still only serves the domestic niche, though it has plans to expand into the Caribbean.
TAR Aerolineas carried a total of 290,051 passengers in its first full year of services in 2015
In 2015, its first complete year of operations, statistics released by the SCT showed this regional carrier grew quickly to reach a figure of 290,051 passengers by the close of the year, a substantial increase on its first 10 months of service. Then, in 2016, the airline took everybody by surprise by becoming Mexico’s top regional carrier in only its second full year of operations, closing the period with a total of 613,938 passengers* and thus replacing the traditional leader of Mexico’s regional airline niche: Aeromar, to be crowned the #1 regional carrier.
In 2016, TAR Aerolineas transported 613,938 passengers to become Mexico’s leading regional airline
Unfortunately, the aforementioned growth rate proved impossible to maintain throughout 2017, with the airline withdrawing services on a whole host of newly introduced routes, mainly in the northern part of Mexico. However, though it did lose ground in terms of passengers in 2017, it still managed to keep the figures above half a million passengers to close the year with 574,124* seats filled, which is still reasonable in only its third full year of operations.
Despite a dip in its passengers numbers throughout 2017, TAR Aerolineas still registered well over half a million passenger for the period
Throughout 2018, TAR managed to up its passenger count to 604,518 for the year, all of whom travelled with the company on domestic routes, a positive result when compared to the previous year.
TAR Aerolineas upped its passenger numbers to transport almost 605,000 throughout 2018
*Passenger statistics provided by:
DATATUR, the National Statistical Information System of Mexico’s Tourism Sector
TAR Aerolineas Bases
TAR Aerolíneas main base:
The Querétaro Intercontinental Airport – in the state of Querétaro
TAR Aerolíneas focus cities:
The Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) – in the state of Jalisco
The Monterrey Mariano Escobedo International Airport (MTY) – in the State of Nuevo
The Puerto Vallarta International Airport – in the state of Jalisco
TAR Aerolineas Fleet
TAR Aerolíneas Fleet: Average Age: 19 with 11 aircraft @ June 2019
The above average fleet age (and number) was released by Mexico’s DGAC (General Directorate of Civil Aviation).
11 x Embraer ERJ-145* – 50 passengers
*Planespotters.net provided the above fleet information for TAR Aerolineas. For further information on this airline’s fleet, visit the following external link to Planespotters.net (consulted on Jan. 24, 2019).
TAR Aerolineas Destinations – Dec. 2019
TAR Aerolíneas Destinations in Mexico:
NO TAR SERVICES SO UPDATE PUERTO ESCONDIDO / LOS MOCHIS / LEON / CIUDAD OBREGON – NO TAR SERVICES SO UPDATE
TAR launched 2 new services from San Luis Potosí (SLP) in Jan. 2018., to Guadalajara (GDL) and Querétaro (QRO)
TAR Aerolineas launched services between Durango (DGO) and Ciudad Juárez (CJS) as of March 1, 2018., with three weekly flight options on Tues., Thurs. and Saturdays
As of March 15, 2018., TAR connected Queretaro with Huatulco (HUX), with two weekly flights, nowadays -March 2019- this route offers flights on Mon., Thurs. and Sundays
Then, on June 20, 2018., TAR added services between Ciudad Obregón (CEN) and Guadalajara (GDL) with flight options on Fridays and Sundays
On Nov. 8, 2018., TAR incorporated flights between Hermosillo (HMO-TIJ) Tijuana, with two weekly frequencies on Thursdays and Sundays
As of April 3, 2019., TAR will return to Los Mochis (LMM) with direct flights from Guadalajara (GDL) and Querétaro (QRO)
TAR Aerolineas Frequent-Flier Program – Alliances
TAR Aerolíneas Frequent-Flier Program:
TAR launched its frequent-flyer program, under the name of Star Club, in May 2015
TAR Aerolíneas’ Star Club provides a VIP Lounge for its members at its base in the Querétaro Intercontinental Airport. The membership also allows you to cancel your flight up to just two hours before the flight’s take-off time, you are then given a voucher for the cost of ticket to use on any other flight you take with the company; the validity of the voucher is for up to one year, among many other benefits.
Being a member of Star Club also means that you are able to take advantage of a 30% discount at the VIP facilities offered at the OMA Airport Group Lounges in the airports of Chihuahua, Culiacán, Mazatlán and Monterrey, as well as free entrance to TAR’s own VIP Lounge in Queretaro. This is possibly of special interest to the smokers among you as there are dedicated areas for smoking, the only ones in the aforementioned airports. To enter, show your boarding pass for the following ticket classes: ENR and WSTAR of Star Club.
And … the company has also created a new option with its Star Club through which, having accumulated 10 flights with the airline, you receive a voucher for the average price of the ten purchased tickets, to be used at your discretion for one or more flights, depending on the options available at the time of redemption.
Finally, the company also offers a pre-pay option, under the name of Star Wallet, whereby the discounts range from 8-12%, depending on the amount paid. Options begin at MXN 40,000 and go up to MXN 500,000 so obviously this may be of interest for companies but not the everyday traveller.
Star Club now offers a free travel voucher equivalent to the average price of 10 purchased flights
TAR Aerolíneas Alliances:
TAR has an agreement with the coach company ‘Caminante’ for transfers to/from Toluca International Airport, either to the Observatory Metro/Bus Terminal in Mexico City, or direct to the International Airport of Mexico City, as well as an option to Cuautitlán Izcalli, to the north of Mexico City.
TAR Aerolineas Contact Information
Head office not known.
Mexico City: 01-(55)-2629-5272
**Grupo Mafra comprises five companies in addition to TAR Aerolíneas: Las Gardenias (http://lasgardenias.com.mx/En/), Urban Wake (http://urbanwake.com.mx/), Urbanica (http://urbanica.mx/), Medica Tec 100 (http://hospitaltec100.com/), and ITR, a green-energy producer.
to visit the official TAR Aerolíneas Web site