MCALLEN, Texas – Valley International Airport’s decision to offer more routes for leisure passengers has helped the airport gain a greater market share.

That is the view of Elizabeth Suarez, director of McAllen International Airport. 

Giving her monthly report to the McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors, Suarez said the Harlingen-based VIA is, year-to-date, now neck and neck with McAllen for passenger volume.  

“Harlingen has done a great job at linking up market share. It is  attributed to a lot of different factors. About two years ago they came in with a very aggressive plan to recruit new air services, primarily leisure services. We saw new routes to Monterrey, to Las Vegas,” Suarez said.

Indeed, in April of this year, VIA outperformed McAllen, Suarez explained.

Overall market year to date, McAllen captures 45 percent of the market share, with Harlingen at 43 percent and Brownsville at 12 percent,” Suarez said. 

Dallas Cowboys-McAllen International Airport partnership


Suarez’s presentation to MEDC came a few days before a big announcement at her airport: the designation of McAllen International Airport as the South Texas Airport of the Dallas Cowboys.

Suarez said as the South Texas Airport of the Dallas Cowboys, McAllen International Airport will create year-round fan experiences for travelers. Upcoming guest programming, she said, will feature exclusive giveaways, social media and photo experiences, and special appearances by Dallas Cowboys players and legends, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Rowdy, and more.

“McAllen International Airport is always looking for new ways to connect our travelers with relevant experiences. The Dallas Cowboys are unquestionably the most engaging sports brand in South Texas and the world, so our new partnership was a natural fit,” Suarez said.

The Cowboys-McAllen partnership was announced by Suarez, McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, and McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, along with City, Eric Sudol, Dallas Cowboys Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnership & Marketing, and Dallas Cowboys legends Tony Hill and Charles Haley.

“This partnership is going to be amazing for Dallas Cowboys fans, especially with more nonstop flights to Dallas from McAllen International Airport,” Villalobos said.

Villalobos said that with nonstop flights from McAllen International Airport to Dallas, South Texas Cowboys fans will have quicker access to their favorite sports brand. And with more nonstop flights to major destinations from McAllen, fans will have a direct link to more Cowboys away games, he explained. 

“Dallas Cowboys team victories are a lot like our business successes. When we work together, we achieve even more,” Rodriguez said. “We chose the Cowboys to entertain our travelers and provide yet another reason why the McAllen International Airport is the Rio Grande Valley’s preferred airport.”

For the Cowboys, Sudol said: “We couldn’t be happier about a partnership that connects us to one of our biggest fan bases.”

McAllen International Airport kicked the partnership by offering the public a chance to win a Dallas Cowboys travel package with game tickets. 


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