Aeromar

Travelers check in at the new Aeromar ticket counter for the airlines’ initial flight to Hermosillo, Mexico at Tucson International Airport in October. Aeromar launched regular service between Tucson and Hermosillo, Los Mochis, Mazatlán and Guadalajara.

Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star/

United Airlines is expanding nonstop flights from Tucson to Chicago and Mexican carrier Aeromar is dropping Mazatlán in changes to flights at Tucson International Airport.

After two years of seasonal service, United is going to keep its flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport year-round starting this summer, as part of a larger route expansion.

Aeromar, which launched flights to Mexico on Oct. 3, is adjusting its schedule in two steps, immediately eliminating all service to Mazatlán. Then, effective March 30, Culiacán will replace Los Mochis on the route from Tucson.

Aeromar officials say the schedule changes will give passengers direct access to Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa and the state’s largest city, as well as reduce flying time for passengers traveling between Tucson and Guadalajara.

Aeromar’s Tucson flights are largely meeting expectations, said David Hatfield, senior director of business development and marketing for the Tucson Airport Authority.

But the Mazatlán route was underperforming systemwide, and the airline is in the process of moving its Mazatlán station to Culiacán, he said.

The new schedule eliminates one stop for Guadalajara passengers from Tucson, and Aeromar expects more business travelers from Culiacán, a center of Mexico’s produce industry, Hatfield said.

United announced Monday it would add 31 new destinations and expand flights and frequency in other markets.

Tucson is one of six markets where United is expanding existing seasonal service through the summer to year-round. The others are Kona, Hawaii; Salt Lake City; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New Orleans; and Kalispell, Montana.

Find more details online at tucne.ws/jai.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner

Senior reporter covering business and technology for the Arizona Daily Star/Tucson.com