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In mid-February, Mexican airlines Interjet inaugurated its first direct flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport in Guadalajara, Mexico. In a ceremony on Feb. 18 at LAX, Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, and Carlos M. Sada Solana, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, spoke about the importance of connecting one of the U.S.’ main economic centers with one of Mexico’s biggest tourism draws.
“Mexican history and culture are at the heart of our city's identity and link generations of Angelenos — myself included — to a rich heritage,” Garcetti said. “That's why I met with Mexican leaders to explore ways to create more opportunities for commercial and cultural exchange. This Interjet flight from LAX to Guadalajara is a direct result of those discussions, and I couldn't be more proud to see the first plane take off."
During his speech, the mayor noted the city’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games as a reason for more flights being added. Ernest Wooden, Jr., president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, also pointed to new attractions coming to the city, such as Universal Studios Hollywood’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Interjet, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as a company, now has direct flights departing from LAX to Guadalajara Monday through Friday at 12:50 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the nonstop flights depart at 2:40 p.m. The airline operates out of Terminal 2 at LAX, which recently underwent a $332 million expansion that includes 16 new retail and dining options.
Interjet also offers flights from LAX to Mexico City (or the reverse) that have a connection in Guadalajara.
LAX now offers six direct flights to Guadalajara, the maximum amount of airlines allowed to serve a market, according to a deal between the U.S. and Mexico. Other airlines that offer direct routes to the destination include Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.
The new route highlights Interjet's significant steps to expanding within the U.S. The operator already flies from Houston, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Miami and New York, with a new flight to Dallas/Fort Worth slated for early March.
"Mexico continues to be L.A.'s No. 1 market for inbound visitors, so Southern California is a valuable market for Interjet, and LAX is the airport of choice," said Sean Burton, president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.
There are additional rumors of a second direct Interjet flight to Guadalajara being added by May, as well as the possibility of a direct flight to Cancun via the airline carrier.
“Here at LAX, we want to be the front door to the country, not just our city,” Garcetti said.