Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Alaska Airlines launches nonstop service from SFO, LAX to Mexico City

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines on Aug. 8 launched service to Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) from the major California hubs of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

In November, Alaska (NYSE:ALK) will also add service from San Diego’s Lindberg Field, also known as San Diego International (SAN) to MEX, making it the only airline to serve Mexico City from all three California gateways.

Passengers board Alaska 737
"Service into Mexico City is key to our strategy to becoming the go-to airline for travelers on the West Coast,” Annabel Chang, vice president - Bay Area for Alaska Airlines, said, adding that the airline is looking forward to becoming the only airline to offer service to Mexico City from the three largest cities in California.

Officials from Mexico were equally effusive.

"I am confident that these flights will result in opportunities to promote our culture and also increase a reciprocal flow of both business and leisure travelers," Gemi José González López, Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco, said. "Mexico City and San Francisco are places where history and tradition meet creative contemporary ideas. Alaska Airlines shares this vision and has become the driving force for strengthening trade, cultural ties and, above all, the partnership and friendship between Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area."

Year-round nonstop service will operate once daily between Mexico City and San Francisco, twice daily between Mexico City and Los Angeles and once daily between Mexico City and San Diego when that service commences on Nov. 6.

Flights will leave LAX at 8:26 a.m., arriving at MEX at 1:55 p.m. Return flights will leave Mexico City at 5:25 p.m., arriving the Los Angeles at 7:44 p.m.

Flights from San Francisco will depart at 9:55 a.m. and arrive in Mexico City at 4:20 p.m. Flights from MEX will depart at 3:15 p.m. and arrive at SFO at 5:53 p.m.

The flights from SFO and LAX will be aboard a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737. According to SeatGuru.com, Alaska operates 737s in seven configurations, including a “combi” that carriers both passengers and freight, primarily within the state of Alaska. Four configurations offer first class and premium economy seating while two configurations of 737-800 and 737-900 offer premium economy seating in addition to first class and standard economy.

First class seats on all aircraft are 21 inches wide with either 36 or 41 inches of pitch. Premium economy seats, where available, are 17 inches wide with 35 inches of pitch, while standard economy seats are 17 inches wide with between 31 and 36 inches of pitch, depending on the aircraft.

The carrier did not indicate which version of the 737 would be used on the new routes.

With the resumption of service, Mexico City becomes the ninth destination in Mexico that Alaska serves from California. Others include Cancun (CUN), Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (ZIH), Loreto (LTO), Los Cabos (SJD), Manzanillo (ZLO), Mazatlán (MZT), Puerto Vallarta (PVR) and Guadalajara (GDL).

Alaska flight departs SEA
Alaska began flying to Mexico in 1988 and previously served Mexico City from 2005 to 2015.

Mexico service to be launched in November will include daily flights from SAN and the addition of a second daily flight from LAX.

Flights will leave SAN at 7:05 a.m., arriving in Mexico at 12:50 p.m. Return flights will depart at 7:25 p.m., arriving in San Diego at 9:37 p.m. The additional flight from LAX will depart at 12:25 p.m. and arrive at 6:15 p.m. Northbound flights will depart MEX at 1:35 p.m., arriving in Los Angeles at 3:54 p.m.

The flights to be launched in November will be aboard Embraer 175 regional jets. According to SeatGuru.com, Alaska’s E175 RJs have first class recliner seats that are 21 inches wide with 42 inches of pitch, premium economy seats that are 18.25 inches wide with 36 inches of pitch and standard economy seats that are also 18.25 inches wide, but with 32 inches of pitch.

Onboard, guests will experience Alaska's award-winning service, along with Alaska Beyond Entertainment, which offers free entertainment direct to customers' own devices. Other onboard amenities include a selection of food and beverage inspired by local chefs, custom leather seats with adjustable headrests, and power outlets throughout the cabin.

The launch of service to Mexico City kicks off what the carrier is calling a “massive expansion” of its service. In what is the most significant network expansion in Alaska Air Group's 85-year history, the airline will add 29 new routes before the end of 2017.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
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