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Mexican interests launch new airline, Vuela

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and leading broadcaster Grupo Televisa SA are joining forces in a new low-cost airline as the government sells off the country's largest carriers and opens the industry to competition. Mr. Slim's investment unit, Sinca Inbursa, and Televisa said yesterday they will each take a 25-per-cent stake in Vuela, the new airline. The other partners are El Salvador-based airline Grupo Taca and investment fund Discovery Americas I, in which former Mexican Finance Minister Pedro Aspe plays a leading role. Each also would have a 25-per-cent stake. The partners will invest a total of $100-million (U.S.) in Vuela, which already has a concession to operate and expects to begin flights in the first half of next year from the international airport in Toluca, west of Mexico City. Mexico's government is privatizing top carriers Mexicana and Aeromexico. TLEVICPO (Mexico) fell 36 centavos to 35.51 pesos. Reuters

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