Mexico's Televisa to participate in low-cost airline

Mexican media conglomerate Grupo Televisa SA said today it plans to participate with a 25 percent stake in a new, low-cost airline to be launched in Mexico next year.

The low-cost carrier, to be called Vuela Compania de Aviacion SA, will be in partnership with Central America carrier Grupo Taca, Mexico's Grupo Financiero Inbursa SA, and Discovery Americas I, a private investment fund operated by Protego and Discovery Capital, Televisa said in a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange.

The plan to launch the airline, which is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2006, comes as Mexican government-owned airline holding company Cintra SA plans to sell the country's two main carriers AeroMexico and Mexicana.

The privatization and separation this year of AeroMexico and Mexicana is expected to foment competition in the Mexican airline market, and has led to a spate of plans for low-cost carriers.

Also Monday, Cintra said it has pushed back deadlines for investors interested in acquiring shares in Mexicana and Aeromexico. In a statement to the Mexican Stock Exchange, Cintra said it has extended the deadlines in response to requests from various investors.

Investors will now have until Aug. 9 rather than July 26 to submit letters of interest and can acquire the necessary paperwork through July 29, AP reports.

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