Click Mexicana ready for take-off

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ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Mexicanas new subsidiary, Click Mexicana, Mexicos first low-cost, low-fare air carrier, is slated to take wing on domestic routes this month. 

Click Mexicana, a unit of Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion, will operate 10 100-seat Fokker-100 jet formerly flown by Mexicana, which has replaced them with new Airbus A318 aircraft.

Serving 10 Mexican cities from its Mexico City hub, Click will offer fares about 30% to 50% lower than the average domestic fare on Mexicana, according to airline officials.

Click will offer single-class, no-frills service, with meals available for purchase on board.

Emilio Romano, CEO of Grupo Mexicana, noted in a recent statement that Click will significantly increase the volume of clients who will have the opportunity to travel by air, efficiently and with quality services.

Flights are planned initially for Saltillo, Nuevo Laredo, San Luis Potosi, Oaxaca, Zihuatanejo, Huatulco, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Villahermosa, Merida and Puerto Escondido.

U.S. service eyed

Grupo Mexicana officials also are considering expanding service north of the U.S. border, to Austin, Texas, according to Adolfo Crespo y Vivo, executive vice president for public affairs and customer service.

But that would have to wait until a second phase of implementation, he said.

Click Mexicana will eventually replace regional carrier Aerocaribe -- also owned by Mexicana -- which flies a route network that includes 15 Mexican cities and Havana.

Aerocaribe will continue to fly through a transitional phase from May through December.

Crespo y Vivo said Click would fly to most, but not all, cities currently served by Aerocaribe, including Havana.

In addition, Click will inherit Aerocaribes staff but not its older DC-9 aircraft fleet, which will be retired.

As with Aerocaribe, Click flights will be integrated in Grupo Mexicanas overall reservations system, so U.S. travelers may well find themselves on onward-connecting Click flights within Mexico as part of Mexicana itineraries, he added.

Members of Mexicanas Frecuenta frequent-flyer program will be able to accrue and spend miles on Click.

Como se llama?

Mexicana officials chose the name Click because its easy to pronounce for speakers of any language, communicates speed and technology and reinforces its reliance on its online sales channel at Spanish-language Web site, www.clickmx.com.

Click will also use traditional sales channels such as travel agents and call centers, but we want to emphasize the use of the Web, said Crespo y Vivo.

But he brushed aside comparisons with U.S. low-fare carriers -- such as JetBlue, Song and Southwest -- that operate along similar lines.

We dont want to follow established models because our markets are very particular and have their own characteristics, so were coming up with our own low-cost approach.

In addition to domestic Mexican travelers, Click will target Mexican-American travelers in the U.S. and will introduce an English-language version of its Web site in the near future.

Its estimated that by 2010 or 2015 the revenue generated by Mexican-Americans in the States will be greater than the gross domestic product of Mexico itself, so its a very attractive market, Crespo y Vivo said.

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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