Fresno’s Mexico flights: “The right thing to do.”

Here’s an e-mail from Kevin Meikle, the City of Fresno’s Director of Aviation, to Stockton airport Director Harry Mavrogenes. Mavrogenes had asked Meikle if flights to Mexico had worked out.

“Our GDL service began in April 2006 and we have enjoyed strong growth year over year since inception,” Meikle replied. “During the first full fiscal year of service (FY  2007)  48,206 total passengers (24,103 enplanements)  flew in/out of FAT.  In 2014 we had 148,154 passengers (74,077 enplanements).

“In 2006 we started with one airline providing six (6) flights per week.  Today we fluctuate between 10 and 14 flights per week with two airlines.

“We knew that due to the strong Hispanic population in our region pursuing international service to Mexico was the right thing to do for our community.  This was further confirmed after discussion with the airlines, who know their market very well.  Through a due diligence process that involved working with USCBP, the airlines, and the community, we were comfortable that the benefit far outweighed the risk.

“After nine years of service I can say with certainty pursuing, maintaining and growing our Mexico service was absolutely the right thing to do.”

Meikle’s seems to be saying that flights to Mexico were not only a sound business decision but an ethical responsibility of a taxpayer-funded airport to provide services to a deserving constituent group. The situation can’t be all that much different in Stockton.

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