MEXICAN PRESIDENT Vicente Fox unveiled a proposal
to expand Mexico City's airport, increasing capacity to 30 million
passengers a year from the current 20 million. The proposal, which
is expected to open for bids by developers soon, would increase
capacity by 50% by adding a second story to the existing terminal.
The plan would also have passengers use other airports to shift
flights away from Mexico's capital. Passengers would be routed
through nearby airports in Toluca, Queretaro and Puebla, as well as
more distant airports in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Cancun. The
idea is to have passengers travel from one airport to another
around Mexico City, much as travelers to London might arrive at
Heathrow and leave from Gatwick. Violent protests by farmers and
leftist supporters forced the government last year to abandon plans
for a much larger airport 14 miles east of Mexico City that would
have been able to handle as many as 90 million passengers a year.
HILTON HOTELS will manage the 426-room Hilton
Cancun Beach & Golf Resort in Mexico following the acquisition
of the resort by RLJ Development for approximately $31.5 million.
The resort was formerly a Hilton-franchised hotel. "Hilton is
continuously looking to expand our presence in Mexico," said Dieter
Huckestein, president of hotel operations -- owned and managed, for
Hilton Hotels. The Hilton Cancun includes Beach Club villas that
offer concierge service; a private lounge for guest registration
and departure; complimentary continental breakfast and beverages
and hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon; and daily newspaper delivery.
The resort also features an 18-hole golf course; a business center
and 28,000 square feet of meetings space; and a fitness center.
FRONTIER AIRLINES said it plans to expand the
number of Mexico destinations served for the upcoming winter
season. Frontier filed an application with the U.S. Department of
Transportation for authorization to serve Puerto Vallarta from its
Denver Airport hub and is seeking approval to fly between Cabo San
Lucas and Denver. "Since commencing service to Cancun and Mazatlan
in 2002, customers have responded positively and now are asking for
more options," said Sean Menke, Frontier's vice president of
marketing and planning. If granted authority, Frontier plans to
begin the service this fall.
NORTHWEST AIRLINES WORLDVACATIONS extended its
summer sale to Cancun through June 15, offering air-inclusive
packages from Minneapolis/St. Paul or Detroit to Cancun starting at
$320 per person, double. Packages must be booked by June 15 for
travel through Oct. 15. Hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya are
offering summer rates that are up to 40% off high-season
AEROMEXICO, Mexico's largest airline, beefed up
its first class meal service with a new Soles y Especias (Sun and
Spices) menu created by chef Thierry Blouet, owner and executive
chef of Cafe Des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta. The menu includes
breakfasts, meals and snacks that are low in seasonings and served
with light Mexican sauces. AeroMexico said it will be able to
change its menu every 15 days and rotate the selections every
month-and-a-half. Menu choices include beef, salmon, sea bass,
shrimp, chicken, duck, cheeses and fresh vegetables.
AMERICAN AIRLINES VACATIONS is offering 10,000
AAdvantage bonus miles for every booking of five nights or longer
at select hotels in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Los Cabos and Puerto
Vallarta. Vacations must be booked by July 31 for travel between
July 1 and Dec. 15.