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United moves in to claim Mexicana slack

United moves in to claim Mexicana slack

United Continental Holdings (UCH) has launched a series of new departures to Mexico in an attempt to replace Mexicana as the dominant carrier in the region.

While Mexicana restructures – with a view to a possible December relaunch - UCH has confirmed both Continental Airlines and United Airlines will offer an increased service.

Firstly, Continental Airlines will launch daily Boeing 737-500 non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Leon/Guanajuato, Mexico (BJX).

The service will launch - subject to Mexican government approval – on November 1st.

Continental presently offers passengers a direct route to Leon/Guanajuato from Houston.

In addition, Continental has filed an application with the US department of transportation for authority to begin once-weekly non-stop service to Cancun from three new cities: Austin and San Antonio, Texas, and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

The Saturday services would begin in February next year.

New flights to the tourist destination of Cancun will be offered by UCH

Finally, United Airlines is boosting service into Mexico City from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

United will launch a second daily flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City later this week and a third daily trip beginning January 4th 2011.

From Chicago, United’s current Saturday-only service to Mexico City will become twice-daily beginning on November 4th, while San Francisco will see daily services to Mexico City become twice-daily on November 4th.

From Denver, United will offer once-daily service to Mexico City between December 16th and January 3rd 2011.

All flights will be operated with Airbus A319 and Airbus A320 aircraft.

“The new flights complement our industry-leading service to Mexico,” said Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of United Continental Holdings.

“With our expanded global network, we are focusing on linking together our key markets to improve travel options for our customers.”

United Continental Holdings

United Continental Holdings was created earlier this month following the merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, with a tie-up with Air Canada on cross border routes subsequently announced.

Mexicana, in contrast, is presently grounded with unions, administrators and government officials seeking to drastically reduce the size of the airline ahead of a potential relaunch later this year.