Sept. 17--It looks like Sacramento International Airport will be back in the international travel business before the year ends.
Alaska Airlines on Thursday announced new nonstop service between Sacramento and Guadalajara, Mexico, starting Dec. 16.
Alaska Airlines said ticket sales will commence upon U.S. Department of Transportation approval of the new routes.
The new service would pick up some of the slack left by the departure of Mexicana Airlines, which ended its Sacramento service Aug. 14 and ceased operations altogether on Aug. 27 amid financial difficulties. Mexicana offered daily service to Guadalajara and four flights a week to Cabo San Lucas.
Mexicana's fiscal woes left the local airport with no direct flights to or from other countries for the first time in eight years.
The new local flights are:
-- Departing Sacramento at 11:15 p.m. and arriving in Guadalajara at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
-- Departing Guadalajara at 7 a.m. and arriving at 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The flights will be on Boeing 737-800 aircraft, accommodating 16 passengers in first class and 141 in the main cabin.
Local officials happily welcomed the new connection.
"Sacramento has always demonstrated strong demand for service to and from Mexico," said G. Hardy Acree, director of airports for Sacramento County.
"Alaska's Sacramento-Guadalajara nonstop flight is beneficial to business, families and tourism in Sacramento County," said county Supervisor Roger Dickinson. "The new flight underscores the strength of the Sacramento market and its need to connect with the world. Such connections are vital to economic growth in the region."
"We are pleased to be able to offer more service to this important central Mexico market from two new gateways," said Joe Sprague, an Alaska Airlines spokesman.
Alaska also announced new service between San Jose and Guadalajara, starting Dec. 15: 10:50 p.m. departure and 5 a.m. arrival Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; 7 a.m. departure from Guadalajara and 8:50 a.m. arrival in San Jose on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Alaska Airlines has offered service between Guadalajara and Los Angeles since 2003 and has been serving the Mexico market since 1988.
Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.