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US Airways Dumps Mexican Port City

Photo by Peter O'Dowd

US Airways is canceling this flight from Phoenix to Guaymas, Sonora.

GUAYMAS, Sonora, Mex. -- US Airways is shutting down service to the Mexican port city of Guaymas on Oct. 27.

People are bummed out about the decision.

I was on flight #2924 last week to work on the finale of our Fronteras NAFTA series, and the demise of the flight came up a few times.

"The decision to stop service from Phoenix to Guaymas was made due to the poor financial performance of the route," a US Airways rep told me.

The woman who checked me in at the gate said she'd be out of a job in a week.

"Don't worry, I found another one," she said.

The flight was the only direct link from the US to fly into this tiny airport. A few business people who do trade and manufacturing across borders are hoping there will be a charter flight established to soak up the demand.

But US Airways may have a point. During my trip, I had the row to myself both times. Thank God, because I'm 6 feet 2 inches tall and airlines don't appear to use normal-sized planes anymore.

About 20 people were on board each way. At $430 a ticket, well, you do the math.

Still, this little port city is charming. If Arizona had a beach, it would look exactly like Guaymas. Nearby San Carlos draws a bunch of snowbirds. Many of them drive from Arizona -- about six hours from Tucson -- to spend the winter.

Photo by Peter O'Dowd

Tell me Guaymas doesn't look like Arizona with an oceanfront.

This year, cruise lines canceled their stops in Guaymas because of drug violence in cities further south.

Now the nearest big city with air service to the United States is Hermosillo. I checked this out as an alternate, and the tickets were close to $900. Not an option!

All this to say: If you're trying to get in or out of Guaymas to do business or go fishing on the Sea of Cortez, you'll probably have to drive.

These days, that's an option few people will take.

KJZZ News Director Peter O’Dowd finds something alluring about Phoenix and public radio, as if they have always been a part of his destiny.O'Dowd, who oversees all daily editorial direction of the KJZZ newsroom, took on the role of news director in February 2011, after serving as an assignment editor and reporter for the station since 2009.