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Aeromexico's arrival caps a month of international expansion at RDU

Aeromexico Flight 430 lands at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on July 1, 2024. (RDU Airport/Handout)
Courtesy of RDU Airport
Aeromexico Flight 430 lands at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on July1, 2024.

The first Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to Raleigh-Durham International Airport landed Monday afternoon, capping a month of expansion of international destinations.

Local leaders and dignitaries gathered at Gate C17 ahead of the flight's arrival. A mariachi band played and airport officials held a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The new service is expected to boost tourism and business between the two countries, said Claudia Velasco, Consul-General of Mexico in Raleigh.

"This flight is a life changer for families who will be able to be close sooner," she said. "We are neighbors, economic partners and friends."

The new route is part of an aggressive expansion by Aeromexico in the U.S.

"So, for us having that presence and that reach into the United States and vice versa, for Americans to have that reach into Mexico, it was something that we've always wanted to sort of have as our tent pole in terms of expansion," said Aeromexico executive Ivan Vukov.

The airline is marketing the flight to tourists and Triangle residents with family in Mexico. Vukov said he also hopes more Mexican tourists will use the flight to explore North Carolina.

RDU CEO Michael Landguth said there's already strong demand for the flight.

"I'm happy to report that the inbound flight that's coming in, is 100% full, and it's going out full as well. So that's a great story to tell that we worked very hard for several years to try to get this service into the market," he said.

This is the third international flight to launch from RDU in the past month, along with nonstop service to Germany and Panama.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.