QXatFAT
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FAT Is Now International!

Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:26 pm

It has been a few points in other threads but I thought I would take the chance of posting it. FAT is going to become offically international this weekend. Mexicana Airlines will be flying an A318 into FAT airport from GDL. It will be a 10:50 flight into FAT in the evening and an 1:25 departure do GDL. This was on the news tonight on ABC30 News in the Fresno area. They showed pictures of the new area for international departures and arrivals. City council and other officials said that this is the iceing on the cake to start the main service they have been waiting for for FAT. They hope that now FAT will expand out for more flights to different destinations.
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tbear815
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:30 pm

It's about time! Fresno deserves this recognition. Congratulations FAT - you're in the big leagues now. And I know you'll make the international transition well!
 
QXatFAT
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:35 pm

Another thing I forgot to mention is that the Ag department of the valley was very causous and against this because of the fruit fly. Mexicana Airlines has agreed to do special checks and frequent fumigateing of the aircraft before leaving Mexico. Special dogs have been brought in for the airport as well to sniff out fruits and veggies being brought in from Mexico.  Smile
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FATFlyer
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:05 am

The new service has gotten a lot of publicity.

A few of the things from the media that caught my interest plus some links.

One said the 1st 3 days of flights are sold out.

Another mentioned that Mexicana will be bringing travel agents from Mexico for fam trips to the area in 3 weeks. They will be shown things like the national parks, wineries, casinos, museums, etc. to recommend the area for tourist clients from Mexico.

Some info on the service and quotes.
http://www.fresnobee.com/business/story/11994280p-12755225c.html

This article details the steps taken to protect ag in the area from imported insects. That includes a produce sniffing dog, x-rays of all cargo and luggage, education info distributed by MX to passengers, etc.
http://www.fresnobee.com/business/v-...ist/story/11994280p-12755223c.html

Some info and a video showing the arrival and crowd at the ticket counter last night.
http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=local&id=4046871

One of the stations showed the water salute for the arrival last night. If it gets posted online I'll add it.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
LatinPlane
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:55 am

Congrats to FAT, for finally making your title live up to its name!

What are the other destinations planned by Mexicana?

 Smile LatinPlane
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SFOMEX
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:56 am

Great news for FAT! The flight will be quite similar to the one SMF gets, a "tecolote" or red eye. BTW, I was wondering if this flight could canibalize the SMF's flight. After all, they cater to the same market (mostly ethnic travelers) and FAT is not that far from SMF.
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andessmf
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:15 am

Quoting SFOMEX (Reply 5):

Good deal for FAT! But it will not cannibalize SMF. FAT is about 3.5 hrs by car, SMF is 7 hrs from LAX (in good, fast traffic) and that freeway is very fast. MX is just serving a good market, midpoint between LA and Northern California. I bet that before long the flights will be daily.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:05 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 4):
What are the other destinations planned by Mexicana?

They currently hold authority for FAT to Guadalajara, Morelia, Mexico City, Zacatecas, and Leon-El Bajio. There has been talk of other cities and resort areas. For example, about 7 years ago AeroMexico had authority for FAT-PVR. So some at Fresno City Hall would like for MX to apply for and start Puerto Vallarta.

BTW, AeroMexico still has a pending application to serve FAT also. Stockton is probably still their priority though.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 6):
But it will not cannibalize SMF. FAT is about 3.5 hrs by car, SMF is 7 hrs from LAX (in good, fast traffic) and that freeway is very fast.

MX does expect to cannibalize some flights at other cities, but not enough to be detrimental. They determined they had over 100,000 passengers a year from the Fresno area boarding at the other California cities like SMF, LAX, etc.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
wedgetail737
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:07 am

I'm glad that FAT is getting some real service. Perhaps that will set the precedence for additional service.

There had been some mention in the past that the San Joaquin Valley has a very large population of Portuguese people. Perhaps, FAT could get the summer Azores Express service.
 
LatinPlane
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:24 am

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 7):
They currently hold authority for FAT to Guadalajara, Morelia, Mexico City, Zacatecas, and Leon-El Bajio. There has been talk of other cities and resort areas. For example, about 7 years ago AeroMexico had authority for FAT-PVR. So some at Fresno City Hall would like for MX to apply for and start Puerto Vallarta.

In the past, MX has developed flights to Puerto Vallarta by mixing them with flights to GDL. They could start by doing a FAT-PVR-GDL, to test if PVR would work from Fresno.

The fact that the first three flights are sold out demonstrates the long overdue need for such flights to take place. While, they are only filling up an A319, I'm sure they'll need an A320 in no time and hopefuly, one day a 757!

Hope that MX also has great success in Bakersfield.



  LatinPlane

[Edited 2006-04-03 03:40:57]
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phxmkeflyer
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:53 pm

There is no doubt in my mind this route will be able to fill a 318, but I have no idea how the yields will be, as that really determines how successfull a route is and not the pax loads.

I remember when I worked for, ah hem... mesa crazy  as part of HP/US in PHX, that we would have a large amount of pax connecting from FAT to GDL and vice versa.
 
CV990
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:08 pm

Hi!

It's for me a great joy to finnally see FAT having these flights from Mexico. I lived in FAT during all year of 2003 and I actually experienced how hard it was for the hispanic community to get to FAT from any town in Mexico. In November 2003 I was comming from YYZ to FAT via PHX with HP and the last leg of the flight from PHX to FAT we got a got load of mexicans....and those guys were scared with the transit at PHX. When I was already with my wife on board of our HP CRJ700 to FAT I saw an old couple that only speaked spanish "waving" a white paper that was their confirmation flight to FAT and I could see the crew struggling to try to communicate with them....and of course I coudn't be insensitive and talked a bit with this couple and we helped them to find out a spot in the plane....I think now things will be much easier...well at least until they get at FAT Airport...then I'm sure that they'll have people that speak excelent english and spanish to help them to get in USA. Anyway it's great to see another "heavy" at FAT...the only one there was the regular AA MD80 flying from DFW!!!
Regards
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QXatFAT
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:09 am

Quoting CV990 (Reply 11):
Anyway it's great to see another "heavy" at FAT...the only one there was the regular AA MD80 flying from DFW!!!

Include the A319 by HP/US there now. That is not daily service to FAT-LAS.

I believe a flight to PVR would be amazing! There are a lot of time share holders, including myself in PVR. Would be great to travel out of FAT to get there instead of SFO or OAK.

This is a great turning point for FAT. Maybe more airlines will bring in bigger equiptment and maybe another 1 or 2 flights to Mexico. I can not see FAT serving Canada at this point who knows, maybe in 5 or 7 years.

QXatFAT
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FAT5DEP
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:25 am

My wife and I were on the way home from a party on Saturday night and thought we'd stop by FAT and see the first Mexicana flight. We went out on to the general aviation ramp and watched that nice A318 roll out on Bravo 9 and taxi in. We gave him a friendly wave. It would have been fun to listen to the ATC communication.

When I worked for Delta back in the 1990's I recall seeing many people flying FAT-LAX-GDL. Unfortunately we also saw many HR's going there as well.

Quoting CV990 (Reply 11):
Anyway it's great to see another "heavy" at FAT...the only one there was the regular AA MD80 flying from DFW!!!

Now America West has an A319 going to LAS and don't forget Allegiant's MD80.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
 
CV990
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:42 am

Hi FAT5DEP!

That's great news....HP with an A319 to LAS??? Awesome, just awesome...in my time, just CRJ200 and CRJ700 ( I the chance to fly CRJ200 to PHX and CRJ700 from PHX... ) and of course Allegiant MD80's...I still recall seeing one of the first MD82 ex: SAS that arrived to FAT....very funny to see that plane with full SAS colours but the tail was clean!!! And also I remember just after I arrived from Portugal in the first days of January 2003 I went to FAT to welcome some friends that came also from LIS and I saw a Fokker F-28 of Horizon Air parked there...after that they started to fly with the CRJ700 and in ONE OCASION I saw a DHC-8-Q400!!!
Regards
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LatinPlane
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:32 am

Quoting PHXMKEflyer (Reply 10):
There is no doubt in my mind this route will be able to fill a 318, but I have no idea how the yields will be, as that really determines how successfull a route is and not the pax loads.

The Mexican-American ethnic/friends-and-family routes tend to provide very good yields for the Mexican airlines, and one of the reasons why Alaska has been so agressive lately in getting a piece of the pie. Alaska now flies to something like 9 Mexican cities including the beach/resort destinations.

I tried pasting the official Mexicana advertisement from its website, but it didn't come out. www.mexicana.com

While the introductory fares start at $169 one way. The normal fares start from $530. round trip. Which, goes to show that this is no low-yield route.

If you notice, Mexicana is advertising full dinner and open bar service. Mind you that this is a flight of three hours that leaves after midnight! First of all, this is probably the only airline that uses full catering services at FAT. Although the airline charges a premium for having a direct flight--which is worth all the hassles--it also provides the airline with enough income to offer dinner and alcohol service. Something that the American carriers would never do. But, food is still something that is very much expected by the average Latino traveler.

 Smile LatinPlane
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FATFlyer
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:52 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 15):
While the introductory fares start at $169 one way. The normal fares start from $530. round trip. Which, goes to show that this is no low-yield route.

The ABC station link I posted above had a quickie comparison in their story:
We checked travelocity.com for a flight leaving next Monday and next Saturday. The Mexicana non-stop flight is priced at $533 with a flight time of three hours twenty minutes. The next cheapest price we found was on American Airlines for $562, and you have to change planes in Dallas, almost doubling your travel time.
http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=local&id=4046871
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copaair737
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:24 am

This is awesome. Good to finally see the flights coming into FAT. I remember when AM almost started flights a few years back. Well, seeing MX here is definitely worth the delay. I wasn't down there for the inagural, but I do plan on going to check it out next time I'm in the FAT area for a Bulldog Football game or other event. Is AM starting service as well? I seem to recall hearing that as well. I know they are planning on starting SCK. SCK would be their sole NorCal destination wouldn't it?

-Copa
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fraspotter
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:25 am

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 1):
Congratulations FAT - you're in the big leagues now.

Literally... Big grin
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FATFlyer
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RE: FAT Is Now International!

Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:53 am

Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 17):
Is AM starting service as well? I seem to recall hearing that as well. I know they are planning on starting SCK. SCK would be their sole NorCal destination wouldn't it?

AM in conjunction with DL submitted an application back in July for authority on FAT-GDL and FAT-MEX. No approval or turndown yet.

AM also has applied for Guadalajara/Morelia/Leon-Bajio/Mexico City-Bakersfield. The US won't approve that until BFL's international terminal is finished.

SCK appears to be what AM wants to start first. They have applied for a number of routes from there including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Aguascalientes, and Morelia. Nothing has been approved since SCK still doesn't have customs. Once that is available I expect they can operate as much as they have equipment for.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain