SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

April 10, 2007 18:49 ET

LAX, Mexicana Airlines Unveil New Ticketing Lobby to Accommodate Passengers During Tom Bradley International Terminal Renovation

Airport's Largest Foreign Flag Carrier Now Operates on Lower/Arrivals Level

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 10, 2007 -- Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Mexicana Airlines opened the carrier's newly relocated ticketing lobby today at Los Angeles International Airport's (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), as the airport moves forward on its $723.5 million major renovation of TBIT.

"Los Angeles International Airport is committed to providing high-quality customer service to its travelers while construction is performed at Tom Bradley International Terminal," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. "The project will enhance the travelers' experience as they pass through LAX and leave a positive impression of our great city that will make them want to return."

Mexicana's passenger ticketing lobby is being temporarily relocated from the terminal's Upper/Departures Level to its Lower/Arrivals Level location for the next three years. Airline ticket agents will serve passengers from 24 ticket counters -- double the amount previously allocated to the carrier in the upstairs lobby. Two new explosive detection machines to inspect passenger baggage will be dedicated to Mexicana -- the only airline with its own machines. Flights will continue to depart from the terminal's Upper/Departures Level, and Mexicana passengers will continue to go through passenger security screening upstairs.

"Tom Bradley International Terminal serves nearly 10 million international travelers each year, and its world-class makeover will help LAX maintain its global competitiveness," said LAWA Acting Executive Director Samson Mengistu. "As our top foreign flag carrier, Mexicana Airlines' new temporary home offers travelers convenience and peace of mind."

TBIT renovations will feature major interior upgrades, installation of an in-line checked-baggage security system and a second boarding gate for new large aircraft. When completed, TBIT's new in-line baggage security screening at ticketing lobbies will allow passengers to check in at the counter, receive their boarding passes and check their luggage, where it will be conveyed to behind-the scenes security screening and then to flights. This will reduce terminal congestion and improve overall customer service and convenience.

During construction, LAWA and Mexicana are taking measures to guide passengers to the Mexicana ticketing lobby. Special interior signage has been placed on both the Lower/Arrivals Level and Upper/Departures Level of the terminal and parking structures for travelers going to the ticketing lobby. Exterior signage on Century and Sepulveda Boulevards, 96th Street, and in the Central Terminal Area will assist motorists in finding the new location. LAX's AiRadio 530 AM traveler information station will broadcast announcements to reach travelers even before they come to the airport. Mexicana is placing its staff on both levels in the terminal to direct travelers to and from their new temporary ticketing lobby.

"Mexicana Airlines is aware of the significance the city of Los Angeles has on our network routes, and we are pleased to offer our passengers an exclusive ticketing lobby in a comfortable environment," said Jorge Goytortua, Mexicana Airlines vice-president of Sales and Service West Coast. "With this relocation Mexicana Airlines continues to be at the forefront of the industry as we did more than 70 years ago when we changed LAX to an international airport."

Mexicana Airlines celebrated 70 years of uninterrupted service at LAX in 2006. The airline's first flight to Los Angeles originated in Mexico City in 1936, carrying 10 passengers, a pilot and a single flight attendant on a Lockheed Electra 10A twin-engine craft. It was the first airline to establish LAX as an international airport, and today is the airport's largest foreign flag carrier, with 19 flights daily, carrying more than 1.3 million travelers annually.

The Tom Bradley International Terminal Renovation Project is considered the largest individual project in Los Angeles City's history. The significant upgrades to TBIT are expected to help LAX retain its competitiveness as the premier West Coast international gateway, especially to the Asia-Pacific Region. Because the construction work will be performed while the terminal is fully operational, the project is also considered one of the most complex among U.S. airports.

A sophisticated computer simulation program was used to develop an eight-phase construction plan to minimize disruptions. The project is expected to be completed by March 2010.

More than 30 airlines operate from the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Its 10 million international travelers in 2006 represent 53 percent of LAX's overall 16.9 million international passenger volume. Passenger volume at LAX last year was 61,041,066.

Construction is being performed by Clark/McCarthy Joint Venture, which is comprised of Clark Construction Group based in Bethesda, MD, and McCarthy Building Companies of St. Louis, MO. Architectural firm is Leo A Daly of Los Angeles.

Mexicana Airlines operates the most extensive route system between Mexico and the United States. In 2006, the World Travel Awards recognized it as the leading airline in Mexico and Latin America for the ninth consecutive year and as the leading business class airline in Mexico and Latin America for the second consecutive year.

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