Saturday, June 22, 2024

Got 1 min? Palenque airport reopens with Mexicana flight

Three years since receiving its last arriving flight, the Palenque International Airport has officially resumed commercial operations in a fitting fashion — by welcoming an arrival from the newly relaunched Mexicana de Aviación to its tarmac.

Nineteen passengers made the trip from Mexico City’s Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) to Palenque, in the southern state of Chiapas. The arriving aircraft, a Brazilian-built Embraer ERJ-145, was welcomed by airport firefighters, who sprayed the plane with their water cannons. Disembarking passengers were then invited to join a traditional Maya ceremony and ribbon-cutting alongside local dignitaries.

The reopened airport is now under the control of the National Defense Ministry. (Sedena)

The reopened airport was recently given over to the National Defense Ministry (Sedena) — along with airports in Uruapan and Puebla — and will be administered by the military’s  Olmeca-Maya-Mexica Airport, Railroad and Auxiliary Services Group. The group also operates the Mexicana de Aviación airline, as well as the Tulum airport inaugurated last month.

The airport now includes a station of the new Maya Train railroad, linking the city and its surrounding areas with Chiapas and the Yucatán peninsula.  

It is hoped the return of scheduled flights and the arrival of the Maya Train will boost tourism to the city, famed for its extensive Maya ruins and miles of untouched jungle. 

“We are a destination with great wealth in every sense, that is why we invite every citizen to visit us and enjoy our waterfalls, our rivers, to live the experience Palenque offers tourists,” airport administrator Julio Alberto Mendoza Espinosa announced at the reopening ceremony.

Palenque Airport first opened in 2014 during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto but saw regular flights suspended in 2020, after troubled carrier Interjet collapsed into bankruptcy

Flights from AIFA to Palenque will operate four afternoons per week, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.The airport now also hopes to return to international service with flights to Guatemala, although no official date for the proposed TAG Airlines service has been announced.

With reports from La Jornada Maya and El Heraldo de Chiapas

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