McALLEN, Texas — Mexicans with means who take weekend trips to Texas are increasingly flying instead of driving to bypass one of their country's deadliest areas.
Many people come from the industrial hub of Monterrey to visit family or shop in McAllen and Brownsville.
But as the drug cartels battled for control of lucrative routes into the U.S., the 2 ½-hour drive along an empty highway has become increasingly dangerous.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of passengers arriving from across the border on private planes was up 93 percent at McAllen Miller International Airport in the first six months of 2011 when compared with the first six months of 2009.
At Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, the number is up 63 percent.
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