(When reading the article, look for something about Hawaii)
Alaska Airlines expands Mexico flights
Friday, October 27, 2006
By GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News
SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines, the dominant airline connecting the U.S. West Coast to Mexico, has added more flights to south of the border
Early Friday morning, the sound of a Mariachi band provided the background for a send-off -- the first nonstop flight between Seattle and Cancun, Mexico.
Alaska Airlines has been flying to Mexico for about 16 years, but now it is expanding its capacity by 22 percent.
"I think people are used to seeing the Eskimo in Mexico," said Steve Jarvis, Alaska Airlines, V.P. Sales.
While tourist destinations are still the majority of the ten Mexican cities served by Alaska Airlines, more and more business is not tourism-related, and it's not just Americans who are flying.
"Many visit friends and relatives. There's also a growing business market. And it's really changed the way we've had to look at distribution as well down in Mexico, and our Spanish-speaking capability on board and in our airports," said Jarvis.
This month, Alaska rolled out a Spanish Language version of its Web site.
And it's not just flying from Seattle. The airline will kick off new flights from Portland, Oregon to Mexico this weekend.
Alaska Airlines has been expanding for a while, including flights east to Chicago and Boston.
Now, as the airline completes the conversion of the rest of its fleet to "Next Generation" Boeing 737s, they expect to fly even farther.
Currently, the airline is seeking FAA approval for long, overwater flights.
"Obviously, Hawaii is on the list. But so are many, many others that are available to us if we have that capability," said Jarvis.
So, stay tuned.