Airports Reopen Following Drug Violence in Mazatlan; Ottawa's Travel Advisory Remains

Mazatlan Airport exterior. Image courtesy of OMA.
Mazatlan Airport exterior. Image courtesy of OMA.

Airports have reopened in Mexico's Sinaloa state following drug cartel violence in Mazatlan which led to travel advisories from Ottawa as well as Canadian airlines.

As reported by Open Jaw, the violence in the northwest state of Sinaloa reportedly began following a security operation by authorities on 05JAN which captured the alleged drug trafficking son of former cartel leader ‘El Chapo.’ The Canadian government issued a 'shelter in place' advisory for anyone in destination as three airports were closed, and roadblocks and burning vehicles as well as exchanges of gunfire were reported. Canadian airlines temporarily cancelled southbound flights and began making arrangements over the weekend to repatriate Canadians in destination.

According to the Star, as of Monday, 09JAN, two airports have reopened in the region - LMM and MZT. Canadians have been returning home since the airports reopened.

The Canadian government continues to advise against all travel to the Sinaloa region, with its travel advisory last updated 07JAN

Airline Advisories and Updates

WestJet has since removed its travel advisory for Mazatlan, which previously included flexible change/cancel policies for flights scheduled to the airport from 06-08JAN. As reported by the Star, WestJet operations to and from Mazatlan resumed on 07JAN.

Sunwing announced on 06JAN that it had scheduled recovery flights for guests stuck in destination and advised guests to remain in their hotels until their flights were confirmed and communicated to them. The operator had cancelled all 06JAN southbound flights to Mazatlan and informed guests with scheduled travel from Canadian airports up to and including 10JAN that they can make a one-time change to their travel date or destination.

As reported by the Star, Swoop's service to Mazatlan has also resumed.

Air Canada said it is “watching the situation closely,” but says none of its destinations in Mexico were affected by the situation.


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