Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: October 5, 2005

FUNJET SAYS AIRLINE SHUTDOWN NO PROBLEM: Funjet Vacations said the Sept. 30 bankruptcy and shutdown of charter airline TransMeridian Airlines will not effect the planned launch next January of new seasonal non-stop service from Rockford, Ill., to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. TransMeridian was to fly the routes. The operator said it's working "diligently" to secure aircraft from other carriers. Funjet still plans to start twice-weekly Cancun service on Thursdays and Sundays as of Jan. 26 and Saturday Puerto Vallarta flights Jan. 28. Service will continue through April 16. In the meantime, Funjet customers -- mainly from Cleveland, Chicago (O'Hare) and San Antonio, but also Detroit and Houston -- who flew TransMeridian outbound on vacations are being re-accommodated on one of the operator's 20 or so other partner airlines. Agents or customers with questions can call (800) 558-3050.

MEXICO CITY DIGS: Starwood Hotels and Resorts plans to open the first St. Regis Hotel in Latin America in 2007, with a new location on chic avenue Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. Owned by Mexican real estate investors Grupo 1818 and developed by Ideurban Consultores, the St. Regis Hotel, Mexico City will have 189 hotel rooms and suites and around 100 private residences. There are currently 10 St. Regis properties worldwide. Mexico is set to gain another St. Regis, at Punta Mita north of Puerto Vallarta, also in 2007. For more information, visit www.starwoodhotels.com.  

CABO SUITE DEAL: The 56-suite Casa del Mar Beach Golf and Spa Resort, part of the Cabo Real development in Los Cabos, unveiled a Relax 33 package offering up to 33% off pre- and post-holidays trips, Dec. 1 to 20 and Jan. 2 to 15. Rates, after discounts starting at $269 per night for a deluxe ocean-view room and $299 for a one-bedroom suite, with a minimum two-night stay. Call (888) 227-9621 or visit www.casadelmarmexico.com.

AGENTS FLY FREE: Continental Airlines Vacations is offering a Book 10/Fly Free travel agent promotion on fall 2005 bookings to Mexico. Agents who make 10 eligible bookings get a free air ticket for travel in the continental U.S., Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Eligible bookings must be made by Dec. 15 for travel Oct. 1 through March 31. Group bookings (minimum of 10 passengers) are not eligible. Continental ticket rewards must be used by April 1. For more information or to receive a redemption form for the promotion, travel agents can visit www.covacations.com/Book10FlyFree.aspx or call (800) 634-5555.

SUNSCAPE REBORN: All-inclusive chain Sunscape Resorts and Spas will reopen its Sunscape Puerto Aventuras property on the Riviera Maya on Oct. 16. The resort, closed since July for $3.5 million in property-wide improvements, is celebrating its reopening with a promotional rate through December. The special rate of $78 per person, per night, double occupancy, through Dec. 22 reflects a savings of 40% off regular rates. In addition, kids under 12 stay free when sharing a room with two paying adults. Rates include accommodations, all meals and beverages, resort activities and water sports, entertainment, taxes and tips. For reservations, call (866) SUNSCAPE or visit www.sunscaperesorts.com.

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