MEXICOS GRUPO POSADAS
is entering the airline business after agreeing to pay $165 million
for Mexicana Airlines, Mexicos second-largest airline. Grupo
Posadas owns or operates 94 hotels, including the Fiesta Americana
brand. Mexicana is owned by airline holding company Cintra SA,
which also owns Mexicos largest carrier, Aeromexico. Including debt
and liabilities, the transaction is valued at $1.46 billion. Cintra
shareholders are scheduled to meet on Dec. 16 to vote on the offer.
The Mexican government, which owns two-thirds of Cintra, has been
trying to get out of the airline business since it was forced to
rescue Mexicana and Aeromexico in the mid-1990s during Mexicos bank
crisis. Cintra also received offers for Aeromexico, including one
from Posadas for 75% of the airline, but turned down the offers.
Cintra said it expects to sell Aeromexico next year.
MEXICANA, meanwhile, launched daily,
nonstop service between Mexico City and Baltimore-Washington
Airport (BWI) on Dec. 1. Mexicana said it expects the route to be
popular for both business and leisure travelers. The route is being
operated aboard an Airbus A318 plane with room for 12 in business
class and 88 in coach. With the addition of BWI, Mexicana provides
nonstop service to 14 U.S. cities.
EL CID in the Riviera Maya will open Feb. 18 following
damage sustained during Hurricane Wilma. The $40 million,
all-inclusive resort near Playa del Carmen was under construction
when Hurricane Wilma struck. The deluxe, 350-room resort will
feature massage tents on the beach, a large sundeck and a pillow
menu, among other niceties.
IN OTHER EL
CID NEWS, the hotel company said it will reopen the El Cid
La Ceiba Beach Hotel in Cozumel on March 15 after extensive
renovations following Hurricane Wilma. El Cid said the hotel has to
be rebuilt from scratch, including pools, restaurants and common
areas. El Cid said the resort will reopen with a higher level of
amenities without a price increase. In addition to El Cid La Ceiba
and the aforementioned Hotel Marina El Cid, El Cid operates four
hotels, a golf course and marina in Mazatlan. For more information
or reservations, call (800) 525-1925 or visit www.elcid.com.
MARQUIS REFORMA hotel in Mexico City is marketing a $150
per night rate for travel agents in an effort to boost business.
The rate has no minimum-stay requirement, and agents can be
upgraded to an executive-level room based on availability. The
boutique hotel, a member of Leading Hotels, includes a
16,000-square-foot spa, two restaurants and meetings facilities. To
book, call (800) 235-2387 or visit www.marquisreforma.com.