Delta Plans New Routes from LA to Central America

Delta Air Lines Inc. announced Monday it was adding 11 nonstop flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Latin America amid growing demand in one of the nation's largest Hispanic travel markets.

The expansion, scheduled to begin in December and finish in March, includes destinations in Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala. The airline also plans to add 5 connecting flights between LAX and airports in Las Vegas and major northern California cities - where the company said many Hispanic customers prefer to travel.

The company said the additional flights were expected to make Delta the second-largest U.S. carrier in the Mexican market by March 2007 for destinations served.

"Los Angeles is at the heart of Hispanic culture in the United States and we are pleased to expand our service to meet the needs of our customers in this growing West Coast market," said Glen Hauenstein, a Delta executive vice president.

The new routes will serve La Paz, Acapulco, Loreto, Mazatlan, Culiacan, Manzanillo, Zacatecas, Hermosillo and Torreon in Mexico; Liberia in Costa Rica; Guatemala City in Guatemala; and San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose and Las Vegas.

All but one of the international routes - Acapulco - were still subject to foreign government approval.

Delta, which is reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, announced in November that it planned to fly new routes to Mexico as part of its recovery plan, which includes boosting international capacity.

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