As it was explained to me the local airlines wanted to do Chetumal and Cancun flights but in order for that to happen Belize would've had to allow Mexican airlines full access to Belizean airspace. That would have effectively killed the local airlines and put hundreds of people out of work.
I am a big fan of TACA and have learned that watching their prices pays off. Depending on where you are in NorCal, SFO is about the same distance as Oakland. I've paid as little as $420 roundtrip; currently it's $487.
I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?