Laura Del Rosso
Laura Del Rosso

*logoThe two major Mexican carriers have enhanced their marketing, with Mexicana setting a date to become part of the Oneworld alliance and Aeromexico planning further expansion in North America, where it added several routes this year.

Mexicana and its subsidiaries, MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink, will join Oneworld on Nov. 10. From that date, members of the MexicanaGo frequent flyer program will earn mileage and be able to redeem awards on Oneworld partners, and members of those partners’ frequent flyer programs earn mileage on Mexicana flights.

The Oneworld partners comprise American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and 20 other affiliated airlines.

Mexicana is a former member of the Star Alliance and had a codeshare agreement with United Airlines until March 2004.

The networks of Mexicana, MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink cover 67 destinations and 14 countries in the Americas and in Europe, including 37 points in Mexico, giving Oneworld a stronger position in Latin America.

Spanish carrier Iberia has been supporting Mexicana through its 18-month alliance implementation project, as its Oneworld sponsor airline. Work is progressing in linking Mexicana’s IT systems to those of Oneworld members. Earlier this year, Mexicana switched its main platform to Amadeus Altea, which is used by seven other Oneworld airlines.

Mexicana said projects are nearing completion to bring its operations and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements.

"Extensive employee training and communications programs are now under way at Mexicana and the alliance’s existing members to ensure they are ready to provide Oneworld customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance," the company said.

Mexicana CEO Manuel Borja said in a statement, "As a member of Oneworld, we will be able to offer our customers more choice and convenience; a much more extensive global network; more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards; more lounges; more customer service support; and better value — services and benefits beyond the reach of any individual airline or bilateral partnership. This will strengthen our position in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

Meanwhile, Aeromexico said it intends to add more markets and routes in North America as the economy recovers in the next year, though the carrier declined to disclose any specifics about the expansion.

Earlier this year, the carrier launched service in four U.S. markets: San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver and Albuquerque, N.M. It also added routes in existing markets, including re-establishing San Antonio-Monterrey service and adding a nonstop between Las Vegas and Mexico City.

"We believe that our strategy for expanding Aeromexico’s North American operations continues to be a sound business decision," Frank Galan, vice president of the carrier’s North American division, said in a statement.

"While the global economy has presented special challenges as we have added new markets and routes this year, we fully expect passenger demand to improve in the coming months."

Aeromexico is participating in the Mexico Tourism Board’s "Vive Mexico" promotions designed to stimulate travel after visitor arrivals plummeted in the spring and also participated in a number of agent fam trips.

Communication was enhanced through the airline’s upgraded website and it’s toll-free phone number. Three online newsletters were launched this year, including the biweekly Agency Central for travel agents.

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