MEXICO CITY — Mexicana airlines shut down all flights on Saturday, marking at least a temporary disappearance from the skies of one of the world's oldest air carriers.
Some airlines offered preferential deals to Mexicana passengers scrambling to find alternatives, but many were baffled by how to get home. The loss of Grupo Mexicana flights eliminated much of the air service to many Mexican cities.
"In the face of the serious deterioration of the company's finances and given the impossibility of reaching agreements to ensure the future viability of the company's operations, we have been forced to temporarily and indefinitely suspend operations," according to a recording played on the company's Mexico City contact number.
Mexicana de Aviacion flew routes to more than 65 domestic and international destinations, including the United States, Canada, Central America, South America and Europe.
Israelis demand deal to release soldier
JERUSALEM — Thousands of people rallied outside the Israeli prime minister's residence Saturday, demanding he conclude a deal to secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants more than four years ago.
The show of support for Staff Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who was seized by Hamas-allied militants inside Israel in a 2006 cross-border raid, comes on the soldier's 24th birthday.
More than seven thousand people took part in the rally outside premier Benjamin Netanyahu's house, some of them toting large white banners bearing Schalit's picture.
Hamas has demanded Israel release hundreds of prisoners, including many who carried out deadly attacks on Israeli civilians, in exchange for Schalit.
No one but his Hamas captors have seen Schalit since he was abducted, but the group released a brief videotape last year to prove he was still alive.