Mexico Set to Launch Military-Operated Airline
Photo Credit: Photo credit: Paco Navarro

Photo Credit: Photo credit: Paco Navarro

Mexico Set to Launch Military-Operated Airline

airline news , mexico
Rafael Peña
Rafael Peña Aug 14, 2023

The Mexican government unveiled plans to inaugurate a military-controlled airline later this year. These ambitious plans are bolstered by its 815 million pesos ($48 million) acquisition of the now-defunct carrier, Mexicana de Aviacion. Mexicana was once a prominent national carrier that grappled with financial turmoil following its privatization and subsequent bankruptcy in 2010. Its revival marks a significant stride in President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s mission to transform the country’s aviation landscape.

Breathing New Life Into Mexicana

President Lopez Obrador’s vision of a rejuvenated Mexicana aims to offer budget-friendly options to travelers. During a press conference, Interior Minister Luisa Alcalde, accompanied by the president and the defense minister, divulged the government’s strategy. Alcalde announced that the airline would bear the Mexicana name, as the government secured the brand following an agreement with former employees.

Integral to the deal is the acquisition of three properties and a flight simulator, Alcalde detailed. The government will also commence payments to over 7,000 former employees who had been awaiting salaries and benefits.

Military Personnel With Civilian Duties

This move is part of a broader trend of President Lopez Obrador entrusting military entities with responsibilities typically held by civilian authorities in the aviation sector. The administration recently handed over control of the Mexico City International Airport to the navy, a measure indicative of this paradigm shift.

Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval provided further insights into the plan, revealing that the airline would launch with a fleet of 10 leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft, set to be delivered in September and October. To propel this initiative, the government has earmarked an initial 4 billion pesos. President Lopez Obrador stated that these funds would be drawn from the public budget, though he refrained from elaborating.

Flights Commence Next Month

With Mexicana’s resurgence, ticket sales are slated to commence next month for approximately 20 destinations. The new flight options will be accessible via the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA). This military-operated aviation hub was unveiled last year as a strategic alternative to Mexico City International Airport to alleviate congestion.

Despite President Lopez Obrador’s efforts to shift certain cargo flights and commercial travel operations to AIFA, it has yet to gain substantial traction among travelers. The airline’s revival will be closely watched as it carves its place in the competitive aviation landscape. Aiming to fill a gap in the domestic market, Mexicana offers renewed connectivity and budget options to passengers across Mexico.

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