Mexico's TAR eyes US flights

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Mexican regional start-up TAR Aerolineas has confirmed its first international routes to Caribbean destinations, as well as plans to launch transborder services to the USA in 2015.

The Queretar-based carrier, which started operations in March, is currently operating flights to 12 destinations in Mexico using a growing fleet of Embraer 145 regional jets, set to reach eight aircraft by the end of this year and 14 next year.

TAR's general manager Rodrigo Vásques confirms that his airline will launch flights to three destinations in the Caribbean area in the second half of this year.

"We will open routes to Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic," he says, without revealing the origin airports of the routes beyond pointing to the "Mexican Gulf region". Tthe flights will depart from secondary cities as TAR "has no plans to serve Mexico City International airport" although it does serve the nearby Toluca airport, notes Vasques.

In 2015, TAR plans to continue its international expansion with flights to the USA. "We will connect several destinations around the Gulf of California, such as Puerto Penasco, Loreto and Mazatlan with cities in California, New Mexico and Texas, serving both tourism and ethnic markets," Vasques says.

Vasques says that the airline has been set up with an $11 million investment provided by its sole shareholder, the Mafra group, which is injecting additional funds to fuel the airline's current route and fleet expansion.

TAR hopes to transport 220,000 passengers in its first year of operations.