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Facing govt pressure, Mexico's airlines return to forgotten airport

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By Kylie Madry

ACAPULCO, Mexico, May 24 (Reuters) - Several Mexican airlines plan to resume operations at a little-used airport outside Mexico City after a decision to cap flights out of the capital's crowded main airport following a series of safety incidents.

Beginning this summer, discount airlines VivaAerobus and Volaris will resume operations to and from the Toluca International Airport in neighbouring Mexico State, some 65 km (40 miles) west of the capital's main hub.

Volaris said it would resume some routes and launch several more to and from the Toluca International Airport Tuesday at a tourism conference in the beach resort city of Acapulco.

VivaAerobus said last week it would re-launch two routes and open two more from the Toluca airport "to keep growing its offering" in the larger Mexico City metropolitan area.

Mexico's government said earlier this month it would cap operations at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) and begin moving dozens of flights to a newly built hub, the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), after the string of incidents fed concern about air safety in the capital's skies.

In one such recent situation captured on video, two Volaris planes came close to crashing at AICM after one was given permission to land on the already-occupied runway.

Aeromexico said in a news conference Monday that for the moment, the carrier only had plans to operate out of the AICM and the newly opened AIFA.

"That's our focus for the moment," Rodrigo Sandoval, Aeromexico's director of banks and loyalty, told Reuters following the conference. (Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Richard Pullin)