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Mexico says tourism could lose $782 million from Canada flight freeze

·1 min read

MEXICO CITY, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Canada's decision to suspend flights by its major airlines to Mexico for three months to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic could cost the Mexican tourism industry around $782 million in lost revenue, Mexico's government said on Sunday.

Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco made the estimate on the basis there could be up to 791,000 fewer tourists as a result of the suspension Canada imposed from Sunday through April 30, his ministry said in a statement.

Still, the losses may end up smaller, Torruco said.

The minister said Canada could also miss out on 372,000 Mexican visitors and $368 million in lost revenues because of freezing the flights.

Mexico has not moved to suspend flights to Canada, although one airline, Aeromexico, said it would halt flights to Canada from the second week of February until the end of April.

Compared with 2019, the number of visitors to Mexico from Canada fell last year by 61.3% to 1,020,000, the ministry said. (Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Peter Cooney)