Mundo Maya: Air Services August 24, 1998 Share 1 -- The five Central American carriers that form Grupo Taca together provide an extensive network of air service both to and within the Mundo Maya region. In the U.S., Grupo Taca's marketing efforts include travel agent seminars, a frequent flyer program, an air pass program and, since this spring, a code-sharing agreement with American Airlines. Joined together in a sales and marketing alliance under one corporate identity since November 1993 (originally known as America Central Corp.), the five airlines are Aviateca (Guatemala), Taca (Honduras), Taca (El Salvador), Lacsa (Costa Rica) and Nica (Nicaragua). Together, they comprise Latin America's third largest airline. This year, Grupo Taca is expanding its fleet of aircraft with six additional Airbus 320s, and this spring it signed an agreement to purchase 60 additional A320s. This month, it begins the gradual introduction of a business class.Agent Seminars. Grupo Taca is offering half-day agent presentations including breakfast or dinner that feature an audiovisual presentation and an overview of Central America that covers geography, history, environment and culture. Attendance qualifies participants for five ICTA continuing education credits. Eleven seminars are scheduled around the country in September and October. The price is $15. For information and schedule details, agents may call (305) 871-3358, ext. 724.Mayan Airpass. Clients who fly any Grupo Taca airline from a U.S. gateway city into Mundo Maya may purchase flight coupons priced at $90 each for travel within the region. Sectors within Central America require one coupon, and flights between Mexico and Central America require two coupons. Tickets must be issued by year-end and travel completed by Jan. 31, 1999.Visit Central America Program. For clients planning to visit several destinations within Central America, this combination zoned fare and coupon plan provides savings of up to 35% for travel from gateways throughout the Americas and within Central America.Route Network. Grupo Taca's North American gateway cities are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Washington, Orlando, Miami, New York and Toronto. Among the points the carriers serve in the Mundo Maya region are: in Mexico, Mexico City, Merida and Cancun; in Guatemala, Guatemala City and Flores; in Belize, Belize City; in El Salvador, San Salvador, and in Honduras, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba and Roatan.This spring, Grupo Taca inaugurated nonstop service between New York and El Salvador; New York and Guatemala, and Washington and El Salvador. In December 1997, Grupo Taca launched Inter, a regional carrier created to serve off-the-beaten path destinations. Inter operates a fleet of nine new Cessna Grand Caravans in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.Who to Call. For reservations, call (800) 535-8780 (Taca), (800) 327-9832 (Aviateca), (800) 225-2272 (Lacsa), or (800) 831-6422 (Nica). Information on Grupo Taca is also available on its Web site at www.grupotaca.com.Local Air Service. Jungle Flying Tours has operated out of Guatemala City since August 1995. This tour firm offers regular small-plane service to Copan and Tikal and charter service to remote sites and Maya cities elsewhere in the region. Prices are net. For reservations or information, contact (011) 502-360-4917 or (011) 502-360-4920, fax (011) 502-331-4995, e-mail: email@example.com. The firm's Web site may be accessed at www.guate.net/jungle.In business since February 1997, Maya World Airlines also operates out of Guatemala City. The carrier provides scheduled domestic service within Guatemala as well as to Cancun, Tegucigalpa and Roatan in Honduras and Nicaragua. Commissions are 10%. For reservations, call (011) 502-339-1519, (011) 502-339-1522 to 1525 or (011) 502-339-1023/1024; fax (011) 502-339-1021/1022, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.