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Savvy Traveler: AeroMexico’s hot new non-stop

The United States is sandwiched between two amazing cultures…Canada and French to the north and Mexico with its Spanish and Indian heritage to the south. While many Mexicans have moved to the United States, we still know very little about their proud culture and heritage.

The opportunity for change has arrived in time. AeroMexico is opening a major new gateway from New York to fabulous Monterrey, non-stop.

“This will be a tremendous benefit for both New York and Mexico,” commented Oscar Mejia, AeroMexico’s vice president for North America. “Americans visiting Monterrey will no longer have to travel through Mexico City or another port and then change planes. This will save hours of traveling.

“Mexicans heading to New York from that area will save about 10 hours of travel by being able to fly direct.” Mejia continued. “Terminal B in Monterrey is a beautiful facility and the most modern in Mexico.

“AeroMexico is no longer a local airline,” Mejia said. “It is now a player on the international stage.”

The airline connects from Mexico to destinations around the world from Latin America to Tokyo.

“And you will be treated Mexican style on board,” he continued.  “There will be many amenities for passengers to make the flight as pleasant as possible.”

Federico Treviño, representing the convention office, pointed out that Monterrey, in addition to being a tourism destination, is a major location for business and tech companies.

“We have the most modern facilities for business meetings and conventions,” he said. “But Monterrey is not just business. We have the Ironman competition here for the next two years. We have no ocean for the swimming but the sponsors of the competition felt we were a good location. All of this can be enjoyed and enhanced with a stay at one of our four or five star hotels.”

Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, agreed, calling Monterrey, “One of the best conventions centers in Mexico.” She added that the area’s growth has been extraordinary in recent years.

Monterrey has been listed as one of the top three sites in the world for canyoneering with a variety of options. The mountains offer exciting zip lines, bungee jumping and enough to keep the adventurous living off an excess of adrenaline flow. With all this outdoor adventure, visitors should make sure not to miss the entertainment and cultural opportunities afforded.

NYC & Company, the official marketing and tourism organization, has teamed up with AeroMexico to promote its destination to visitors coming in from Mexico and other gateways passing through its hubs.

“New York City offers an abundance of activities for visitors from Mexico and virtually anywhere in the world,” noted Makiko Matsuda Healy, senior VP, global tourism development, for NYC & Company. “We have many cultural opportunities and the best shopping.”

Healy pointed to the theater, sightseeing and range of restaurants in New York City as a lure for Mexicans traveling through Monterrey to New York. She noted that the financial gains for both destinations are enhanced by this cooperative effort.

AeroMexico has seen a tremendous improvement in the last decade. To coin a phrase: “It ain’t your padre’s airline anymore.” It has grown from a small, fairly regional operation to a world class carrier. Along with that has come a serious concern for its passengers’ comfort and needs.

Aircraft have been upgraded and maintained and are a match for any airline in the skies. Seats are comfortable, and airport lounge facilities are a destination in themselves and provide an exceptionally welcoming atmosphere. This is especially appreciated by business travelers who spend huge amounts of time in airports and in the air. They want and demand a reasonable degree of comfort and reliability.

Mejia focused on the consumer travel opportunities offered by AeroMexico in Monterrey, noting there are “five golf courses with several of world-class challenges.”

Ambassador Fuentes-Berain took on the 800-pound gorilla in the room. In response to a question regarding security in Mexico, she noted that her government is working in close cooperation with American officials to quell drug-related violence.

“You should note,” she said “that much of the problem stems from the fact that the United States is such a ready market for these activities. If there was no market, there would be no suppliers.”

She was circumspect in discussing the illegal flow of weapons from the U.S. into Mexico. She commented that without a drug trade that would not be a problem, adding that any of the troubles were far and away from tourism and business areas.

She by-passed the Obama administration’s ill-advised and disastrous “Fast and Furious” program that permitted thousands of weapons to cross the border with the alleged intent of following them to the cartels.

Literally thousands of these went missing, costing the lives of American drug agents and Mexicans. The ambassador commented that Mexico has no control over drug usage in the U.S. or the illegal arms permitted under programs such as Fast and Furious.

“Our business centers and tourism destinations are safe,” she said. “Monterrey is considered to be one of the safest cities in the country. There are excellent hospitals, health facilities and surgeons here; our hospital in the city is part of one of the best health networks.”

She also pointed out that treatment in Mexican hospitals is not only safe, but will cost thousands less than the same procedure would across the border.

Information on AeroMexico and the new route may be obtained on www.Aeromexico.com.

Bob and Sandy Nesoff are members of the American Society of Authors and Journalists.

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