Alaska Airlines wants to wing John Wayne Airport passengers south of the border.
The airline has asked regulators in the U.S. and Mexico to approve flights from Santa Ana to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.
Approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation is expected in four weeks while the Seattle-based airline awaits a similar ruling from Mexico’s Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil.
If approved, Alaska Airlines will travel to Puerto Vallarta three times a week and Los Cabos four times a week.
Southwest Airlines is John Wayne’s busiest airline, operating an average of 67 flights a day, and the only carrier that flies to Mexico from the airport. Southwest flies to Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas.
Alaska Airlines flies to Mexico from Los Angeles and San Diego airports.
JWA spokeswoman Jenny Wedge said the airport anticipates Alaska Airlines’ flights will provide passengers more travel choices and make 2015 one of the airport’s busiest years.
“It’s important that there will be added services. They are going to be very popular, and it will give more options to travelers from Orange County,” Wedge said.
The airport saw international traffic decline 34 percent in January, marking an ongoing slide for the airport, which lost Mexico-based Interjet and its routes last summer.
Before the news broke that Alaska Airlines wanted to increase its flights, Wedge estimated the airport would see 9.9 million passengers in 2015. Now she anticipates the airport would see a record of more than 10 million passengers with more Mexico routes.
Wedge expects Alaska Airlines to be approved since it already flies to Mexico from other airports.
Source: OC Register
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