Mexico Revives State Airline Mexicana, Aims Fleet Expansion in 2024

Mexico Revives State Airline Mexicana, Aims Fleet Expansion in 2024

MEXICO CITY – Mexico re-launched former state airline Mexicana de Aviacion on Tuesday, setting out plans to increase operations with 10 additional aircraft next year, the government said.

During President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily press conference, a video was broadcast showing a Mexicana Boeing 737-800 taking of from the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA) north of Mexico City destined for the beach resort of Tulum.

The airline run by the Defense Ministry currently has three planes and is renting two, but aims to add 10 next year with leasing deals, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said.

The additional rented planes should arrive in the first few months of 2024, Sandoval added.

The airline is also in talks with Boeing to place an order for new planes that could take about two years to be incorporated into the fleet, Sandoval said, without disclosing how many Mexicana is looking to acquire.

The new lift-off is the latest step in Lopez Obrador’s handover of traditionally civilian-led duties such as airports, railways, natural parks and hotels to the armed forces.

“We need a strong institution of the Mexican state to be in charge of managing all these new public works that are being done for the development of the country with money from all Mexicans,” Lopez Obrador told the news conference.

Mexicana is set to operate flights from the military-run AIFA, which Lopez Obrador opened last year.

Mexicana entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2010, years after being privatized, and Lopez Obrador had vowed to revive it to offer low-cost options to travelers.

The government announced in August it bought the Mexicana brand for $48 million.

A company controlled by the Defense Ministry took over four local airports last month, adding to the seven it already runs.

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