SunTrips, Sunquest Seek Better Air Service

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- SunTrips and sister company Sunquest Holidays are making changes in Mexico air service designed to improve its charter programs and address market demand, according to Craig Milan, SunTrips' president.

SunTrips began operating Mexico charter service with new carrier Skyservice USA out of Denver on April 30 and San Francisco on May 1.

Sunquest Holidays signed an agreement with Mexicana Airlines for scheduled flights out of Los Angeles, discontinuing twice-weekly charter service.

SunTrips signed a long-term contract with Ryan International Airlines to operate the Skyservice USA brand for the firm's charter service.

Allegro Airlines previously had provided charter service for SunTrips, but the firm decided to change carriers in order to have more control over the quality of the product, according to Milan.

"We want to raise the bar for consumer expectations about charters," he said. "Customers take charters because of price, and they should expect a clean airplane, a decent meal, friendly service and in-flight entertainment.

"We have control from soup to nuts. We're involved in everything from the hiring of the flight crews to the meals served and the selection of wines served."

He added that Skyservice USA flights feature customer-oriented flight attendants and on-board service that includes a choice of meals served on china; premium wines and a full selection of beverages; first-run movies, and other in-flight entertainment.

The service is operated aboard A-320 aircraft, and planes are based in San Francisco and Denver.

Out of San Francisco, Skyservice USA charter flights operate year-round to Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Out of Denver, seasonal service is provided to Mazatlan and year-round service operates to Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

The flights operate on three, four- and seven-night patterns in most markets from San Francisco and Denver.

Milan added that SunTrips' 1998 Mexico program was expanded to include additional meal programs at a number of properties, more inclusive options and more resort choices in the Riviera Maya.

Sunquest Holidays, opted to switch from charter to scheduled service out of Los Angeles with Mexicana Airlines.

"We did consumer research and found that the Los Angeles market wants more flexibility, so we decided it was in our best interest to enter into an agreement with a scheduled airline," Milan said.

Sunquest Holidays' clients are offered Mexicana flights from Los Angeles to Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

SunTrips

Phone: (800) 786-8747

Sunquest Holidays

Phone (800) 357-2400

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