AirTran Airways announced Oct. 2 it is launching its first international route from Atlanta.

The airline is to begin daily service from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Cancun, Mexico, Feb. 25, 2009, pending approval from the two countries’ governments.

AirTran’s other routes are all domestic, including a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth.

Atlanta is a major hub for the airline, which is a subsidiary of Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran Holdings Inc. AirTran occupies 19 percent of Hartsfield-Jackson’s gates, making it the second-largest carrier at the airport behind Delta Air Lines Inc., at 70 percent.

AirTran also announced a weekly flight to Cancun from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, to start March 7.

Kevin Healy, AirTran’s senior vice president of marketing and planning, said the route to Cancun gives the airline a presence in a popular vacation destination.

AirTran spokesman David Hirschman told GlobalAtlanta in a previous interview that the airline had planned to fly to Cancun in 2005, but damage done by Hurricane Wilma prompted company officials to reconsider.

For GlobalAtlanta’s previous coverage of AirTran’s international interests click here.