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Aeromexico to launch five US markets under Delta JV

Aeromexico will begin service on five new US transborder routes, in the first network expansion with partner Delta Air Lines since the two carriers launched a joint venture.

The carrier will begin daily flights between Atlanta and both Merida and Queretaro, between Mexico City and both Seattle and Portland (Oregon), and between Los Angeles and Leon/Guanajuato later in 2017.

The Los Angeles-Leon/Guanajuato route will begin 1 October, while the other four routes will start operations on 1 November. Aeromexico will operate Boeing 737-800s on the Mexico City routes and Embraer 190s on the others.

The Atlanta-Merida and Mexico City-Portland routes are subject to government approval, say the airlines.

"The strong relationship between Aeromexico and Delta provides significantly more choice for our customers, and the changes we are announcing today underscore the level of integration, customer focus and commitment we bring to the transborder market," says Nicolas Ferri, Delta's vice-president of Mexico and the Aeromexico/Delta Air Lines joint business.

The two carriers formally entered into their joint venture earlier this month, and say they aim to grow transborder seat capacity by 10% by the end of 2017.

Aeromexico will be the only carrier operating on four of the routes. It will face competition from United Airlines and Volaris on service between Los Angeles and Leon/Guanajuato, FlightGlobal schedules data show. Interjet has previously applied for authority to launch flights on the route, but has not begun service.

Separately, Delta and Aeromexico say they will add frequencies on existing routes. They will add a second daily flight between Los Angeles and Los Cabos, between Atlanta and Leon/Guanajuato, and between Atlanta and Guadalajara. They will also add a third daily flight between New York John F Kennedy and Cancun.

All these routes are operated by Delta, FlightGlobal schedules data show.

Delta faces competition from other carriers on the Los Angeles-Los Cabos and New York JFK-Cancun routes. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United operate on the former, while JetBlue Airways, American and Interjet fly on the latter.

Volaris is also expected to begin nonstop service between New York JFK and Cancun, likely in 2018, after winning slots divested by Delta and Aeromexico.

Story amended with corrected details for routes pending government approval

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