Mexico flights boost local economy

A study whose results were announced this week found that John Wayne Airport's service to Mexico injected about $131 million into the local economy, including revenue from the added airport operations and visitor spending.

"This study shows the significant value air service from Mexico brings to the region's economy," Airport Director Alan Murphy said in a statement. "With our partners AirTran and Interjet, we look forward to continuing to provide a convenient gateway for business and leisure travelers to reach the heart of Southern California."

AirTran, a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, kicked off its nonstop service between Orange County and Mexico in June 2012, while Mexico City-based Interjet began offering daily flights a few months later.

The study, which the airport hired InterVISTAS Consulting to complete, also found that the added service created about 990 jobs, generating $39 million in earnings for those employees.

"In just one year, the AirTran and Interjet flights from Mexico have generated amazing results and underscored the critical role that John Wayne Airport plays in fueling Orange County's economic engine," Orange County Business Council President Lucy Dunn said in a statement.

—Jill Cowan

Twitter: @JillCowan

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