L.A./Ontario International Airport: Volaris receives U.S. government OK to fly to Guadalajara

Volaris

Volaris airlines, the Mexican discount carrier, received permission last week from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin flying between L.A./Ontario International Airport and Guadalajara, Mexico.

If and when the airline actually starts service in another story. I have reached out to Volaris officials but have not heard back. The airport manager, Jess Romo, told me in an email that the service is still in the preliminary stages.

“Volaris has still not advised LAWA on any new service to/from ONT,” Romo said. “I may have mentioned that oftentimes foreign carriers make applications to a number of US cities without definitive air service plans.  We will continue our outreach and stand ready to help support new service here at ONT.”

The Ontario airport is not doing so well these days, and any new service there is a big deal. The airport has lost more than 40 percent of its traffic since 2007. My colleague, Liset Marquez, recently wrote that things were so bad that the TGI Friday’s closed.

Even if Volaris does open the new flight, it will not actually be a new route for Ontario Airport. Aeromexico already flies between Ontario and Guadalajara.

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More Ontario news: Aeromexico will add three more weekly flights to Guadalajara

Airline planners must like what they see on the Ontario, Calif. to Guadalajara route.

On the same week that Volaris announced its intention to fly the route, Aeromexico decided to make its flight daily. Starting Oct. 1, Aeromexico will add three more weekly frequencies, according to airport spokeswoman Maria Tesoro.

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Volaris wants to fly between Ontario and Guadalajara

Mexican airline Volaris wants to fly between Ontario, outside Los Angeles, and Guadalajara. Photo courtesy of Volaris.

Mexican airline Volaris wants to fly between Ontario, outside Los Angeles, and Guadalajara. Photo courtesy of Volaris.

There’s finally some good news for L.A./Ontario International Airport.

Mexican discount airline Volaris wants to fly between Ontario and Guadalajara, according to documents it filed this week with the U.S. Department of Transportation. It would operate the flights using A319 or A320 aircraft, and would begin service soon after government approval, according to filing.

Volaris is a relatively new airline, having begun operations in 2006. Volaris has a fleet of about 42 A319s and A320s in an all-coach configuration.

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L.A./Ontario International Airport: Passenger traffic falls (again)

By now, most Southern California aviation aficionados know the sad story of L.A./Ontario International Airport. Traffic has fallen by more than 40 percent since 2007. The two terminals are nearly empty. The aesthetics of the place are less than stellar.

Los Angeles World Airports, which runs the airport, puts out traffic reports every month. By this point, everyone is used to falling numbers. But July seemed particularly difficult in terms of numbers.

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L.A.-Ontario airport fight means big money for lawyers

Have you ever felt like you’re in the wrong line of work?

It seems lawyers are paid pretty well — at least those hired by the city of Ontario for its quest to gain control of L.A./Ontario International Airport from the city of Los Angeles. Ontario officials say Los Angeles has mismanaged the field. They believe they can do a better job of running the airport to make it an economic engine for the region. And they’re suing to make it happen.

Here are the key lawyers on the case and their hourly billing rates. All work for the firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The information was provided by the city of Ontario in response to a public records request.

  • Andre J. Cronthall, $565 per hour.
  • Roy Goldberg, $565 per hour.
  • Catherine LaTempa, $515 per hour
  • Scott R. Sveslosky, $468 per hour.
  • Sarah A. Kagan, $290 per hour.

The lawyers likely will get plenty of work in the coming months. Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner told my colleague Liset Marquez recently that the city could spend “millions” on the airport fight.

“We knew if we were going to decide to file a lawsuit we were going to have to invest in millions of dollars to save our airport or throw in the towel and lose billions to our economy,” Alan Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority told Marquez in June.

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