Hello fellow SAN guy, and thanks for the information! Let me run something by you and the fellow a.net crowd here - maybe there can be a bit of logic out to explain this to me.
Several months back (long before rejoining!), I remember looking at flightaware for SAN, and I noticed that there were THREE flights from SAN to Los Cabos, and all three left within the same half hour, and all three returned to SAN within a half hour of each other: one Southwest, one Alaska, and one Spirit. And if I remember correctly, all three arrived before the Condor/Edelweiss/British rush hour, at least on a Monday. And today, Saturday, October 20, 2018, there are also three flights from SJD: Alaska 1015, Southwest 1214, and Alaska 1019, however, these are all spread out throughout the day. And other than our on-again-off-again PVR flight, there's nothing to Mexico from SAN that lasts.
So what is it about SJD that warrants three flights a day but nothing else really lasts? I know TIJ acts as San Diego's second international airport for flights to Mexico, and literally everywhere in Mexico is accessible - and Cross Border Xpress makes it even easier - but the SJD demand from SAN seems awfully excessive. It's a tourist destination, and most probably very little premium traffic, but yet it continues successfully enough to warrant +/- 450 seats per day when nothing else to Mexico works. Are there really THAT many San Diegans spending money to go lie on just those beaches that won't do it from TIJ?
I give Lufthansa credit for going slowly and carefully with SAN, but I am excited to see that already there's an increase in the premium demand! By encouraging that carefully (in Germany), there will be a solid base that will steadily increase, moving service to daily (or even to both FRA and MUC!!), and then probably followed by SkyTeam service somewhere (I'm thinking blue tails!).
, I see no one else replied to you so let me try. Nice to see your awareness of the strange situation that is SAN-Mexico air service.
Your observations of Cabo and PV frequencies are good but let me add to them. AS has, for years, operated more than daily service in the market, the least number of flights being 8/week and the most has been 17 per week (in summer of '17!) So if you'd picked a different day of the week, you might have seen 2 AS's, 1 WN & 1 NK flight arriving from SJD. If you had checked weekend skeds last July, you'd have also seen SY flying a few r/t in the market! NK left the market late last year, after WN entered it, and who knows what SY may or may not do in the future. So for now, it's AS and WN. Traffic between CA and Cabo has apparently dropped somewhat so I think we will be seeing less AS capacity in the market for a while; it looks like this summer, they will have 'only' daily-double service.
PVR service has actually been very consistent and constant: AS has flown the market since Nov 2010 with anywhere from 1 weekly flight to 4, depending on the season. WN just entered that market this last March, with weekend-only service (twice weekly) and seem committed to remaining on the route.
To me, it seems strange that nobody in recent history has attempted MZT or LTO. AS's EMJ would be the perfect a/c for both routes, probably a few times per week. (I personally think AS could put an EMJ on SAN-PVR and fly it daily but, as usual, their network planners don't listen to me nearly enough!)
After all of that (probably) useless information, I think you are spot on with your guess as to the situation. Even though there is (limited, I believe) service from TIJ to both Cabo and PV, there are MANY San Diegans with condo's in the 2 Mexican resorts, or simply those going for hotel vacations, who will not fly out of TIJ on Mexican cx. I found this to be the case when I was a travel agent selling my clients air travel to Mexico. Most of my clients would much rather fly from SAN than TIJ if there was service available from Lindbergh Field.
The VFR and business destinations such as GDL and MEX are a different matter and most anyone seems content to fly there from TIJ. You will remember that AS flew SAN-MEX for a brief period earlier this year and axed the route -- as well as from SFO and soon, LAX. I don't think the timing was optimal from SAN but I can't really complain as the flight was a daily EMJ. They offered the service for just 6 months. I seriously doubt we will see anyone try SAN-GDL or MEX anytime soon. Too bad.
One other thing to consider. I think both WN and AS fly at least some connecting traffic via SAN to both Cabo and PV. You'll notice that AS's daily flight to Cabo departs here ~10-11am, returning ~4; WN is usually similar if not a bit earlier. That timing certainly offers connecting opportunities over SAN. I would think the timing of the flights to Cabo might be a clue to how much connecting traffic there is.
Also, fairly recently, AS added an early morning departure from SAN to SJD, ~7-8am, sometimes sub-daily. I'd guess that flight was added strictly to offer the O&D traffic from SAN seats of their own in case the connecting traffic was filling up the later flights. Also, last summer, AS also had a 2pm departure to Cabo - even better for connections. That's my conjecture anyway.
I too agree with you about LH. And I think SAN's philosophy has always been to be conservative and let the int'l routes mature and let traffic build before actively searching out more competition for them. One tool is SAN's incentive package, available to new int'l cx at SAN. For 2-3 years after BA began serving SAN, the incentive was blocked to any new cx wanting to fly to Europe; the same thing was done with Asia for a couple of years after JL arrived here. (Always notable to me was that SAN-MNL was NOT blocked from the Aisa/Pacific incentive, essentially saying, "PR, you are welcome to come to SAN any time!")
I truly believe there is a major, legacy Euro carrier (with a large connecting hub on the Continent) waiting in the wings to start flying to SAN. My guess would be they will come to SAN in 2020 (giving LH 2 solid years to grow and establish themselves here, which certainly seems to be happening rather nicely -- and fast!)