Mexicana Adds Fresno Flights

Mexicana Airlines, Fresno's only international carrier with direct flights to Mexico, is adding two days to its schedule and a larger jet.

Airline officials said they are increasing their service in anticipation of a busy holiday travel season.

The new schedule will begin Dec. 12 and continue through early January.

"Knowing how important it is to travel during the Christmas holidays to be with relatives ... we are delighted to offer daily service during this season," said Jorge Goytortua, Mexicana's vice president of sales for the West Coast and Canada. "We believe that these additional flights will make a huge impact on the economics of the San Joaquin Valley."

Mexicana will add daily flights on Monday and Tuesday to its current Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule. It will also fly a 150-seat Airbus 320, up from the 120-seat Airbus 319 that it added in June.

The international air carrier, which began service in April, has flown more than 23,000 people from Fresno Yosemite International Airport to Guadalajara.

"We think this is just wonderful," said Patti Miller, Fresno airport spokeswoman. "This reflects the continuing growth in the region and the airport."

Miller said Mexicana officials will evaluate the new schedule to determine whether they want to keep it beyond the holiday season.

Fresno travel agents also welcomed the expanded service.

"I think this means were are going to see more seats and better prices," said Laura Martinez, manager at De Alba Travel. "I am glad they added the bigger plane. The airline has been full every night they fly out of here."

Martinez said many Mexican immigrant families living in the Valley travel annually to Mexico for Christmas and New Year's.

"They used to have to drive to L.A. to catch a plane," she said. "Now they don't have to do that."

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