AeroMexico starts first direct New Orleans-Mexico City flight since Hurricane Katrina

Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 6:34 by Aviation Correspondent

AeroMexico, the biggest airline in Mexico, has started the first non-stop international flight between New Orleans, in south-eastern Louisiana, the United States, and Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, since the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The flight leaves Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at 6.20 a.m. for Mexico City. It will continue from Mexico City to San Pedro Sula in Honduras.

The connecting flight to San Pedro Sula leaves Mexico City at 10:35 a.m. and reaches San Pedro Sula at 11:55 a.m.

On the return leg, the flight takes off from San Pedro Sula at 12:45 p.m. and lands in Mexico City at 4:10 p.m. The connecting flight in Mexico City departs at 8:30 p.m. and arrives in New Orleans at 10.50 p.m.

The 6-days-a-week flight of AeroMexico uses 50-seat jets.

A statement from AeroMexico, based in Mexico City, Mexico, said the 2-hour New Orleans-Mexico City flight would let businessmen travel between the two cities in the same day.

According to official figures, south-eastern Louisiana has the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the entire United States – with nearly 250,000 Hispanic people, including over 80,000 people from Honduras.

Before the storm Hurricane Katrina struck, Air Canada, the flag-carrier airline of Canada, and Grupo Taca, an international airline based in San Salvador, El Salvador, had operated direct, international flights from New Orleans to Canada and cities in Central America, respectively.

However, Air Canada and Taca did not resume international flights after Hurricane Katrina, resulting in the city of New Orleans having no non-stop international flights for about 4 years.

Around 80 per cent of the city of New Orleans was flooded following Hurricane Katrina, leading to the death of about 1,500 people and causing damage worth over $80 billion.

The commercial airport at New Orleans had closed down a few days before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. It was re-opened around 2 weeks later for domestic flights.

AeroMexico’s new service between New Orleans and Mexico City is expected to boost business between the US state of Louisiana and Mexico as also medically related travel.
According to a study, the costs of health care in Mexico are 25%-30% lower than those in the United States. Mexico, which specialises in dental surgery and cosmetic surgery, receives a large number of visitors from the United States.