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Continental Airlines announces major expansion of service to Mexico

Travel News Asia 9 February 2004

Continental Airlines today announced a major expansion of its Mexico service, adding four new Mexican destinations to the 23 it currently serves from Houston, pending government approval.

Continental Express will begin daily nonstop service from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to Monclova (April 4), Puebla (May 2), Oaxaca (June 10), and Toluca (June 10), bringing the number of Mexican destinations served by the airline to 27.

"Continental already offers service to more destinations in Mexico than any other U.S. airline," said Jim Summerford, international vice president for Continental Airlines. "Our new daily nonstop service to these Mexican destinations is a clear sign of Continental's commitment to providing travelers with convenient access to Mexico's business and leisure markets, a testament to Houston's standing as a major international gateway, and a demonstration of the important commercial and cultural links between Texas and Mexico."

Continental Express will utilize the 50-passenger Embraer regional jet on its daily nonstop service on each of the new routes except to Monclova, where the 37-seat regional jet will be used. The RJs feature jet-bridge loading, a fully equipped galley, a spacious lavatory, and a comfortable interior with only window and aisle seating.

Monclova, a business and industrial center in northern Mexico, is the location of many U.S. and Japanese corporations. Passengers traveling to Monclova now must fly into Monterrey and then drive more than two hours to their destination. 

Puebla, located in east central Mexico, is the site of the famous "Cinco de Mayo" battle, in which Mexican troops defeated the French forces in 1862. A popular tourist destination famous for the colored tiles that decorate its buildings and churches, the city also is an important agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing center, with cotton mills, an automobile factory, onyx quarries, and pottery industries. 

Oaxaca, located in the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains in southern Mexico, is a tourist center known for its colonial church architecture, handcrafted gold and silver filigree, pottery, and textiles. Important archeological sites including Monte Alban and Mitla are located nearby.

Toluca, capital of Mexico state in central Mexico, increasingly is becoming industrialized, with food processing and beverage plants, as well as flour, cotton, and woolen mills. The city also is known for its traditional handicrafts.

Airlines Expands International Focus

Latin America plays a major role in Continental's route system, comprising 33.4 percent of its international route network. Continental is the second-largest U.S. airline into Latin America and the Caribbean, with service to 56 destinations in 24 countries. 

In December 2003, Continental signed a 10-year alliance agreement with Aeromxico that includes codeshare flights, interline electronic ticketing, reciprocal OnePass and Club Premier frequent flyer benefits, and reciprocal Presidents Club and Saln Premier membership benefits with the Mexican carrier.

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