In what is expected to be welcome news for travelers, a new low-cost airline is about to begin offering service in Mexico.
What’s different about this airline, however, is that it will be operated by Mexico’s Ministry of National Defense. That, perhaps, isn’t really surprising since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has already placed administration of the country’s trains, law enforcement, tourism, and numerous infrastructure projects under the army’s command, the Washington Post notes.
The new airline, called Mexicana de Aviación in honor of the now-defunct airline of the same name, will “provide air transport service with high standards of safety, reliability, and quality,” Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, Mexico’s secretary of national defense, said in a press conference. “Punctuality and quality services are guaranteed, allowing the development of mobility between the various states and the economic activation of the country.”
Tickets for flights will begin to be sold in September. They will be between 18 percent and 20 percent cheaper than other airlines’ fares, Sandoval said.
“The seats will be in a single class so the cost will be within everyone’s reach,” Sandoval continued.
Rising From The Past
The rise of the new airline comes thanks in part to an 815 million peso (about $48 million USD) purchase of the former Mexicana de Aviación brand and several commercial assets.
That airline, which was partly state-owned, began to struggle financially. It then entered bankruptcy proceedings before going out of business in 2010, Reuters reports.
López Obrador has said the 815 million pesos will be used in part to compensate the nearly 8,500 former employees who had been laid off during the bankruptcy and have not been paid since the airline’s closure. The deal also includes the purchase of three buildings and some property.
New Planes, Crews, And Routes
The rise of the new airline is also possible because the government of Mexico has signed a 4 billion peso ($235 million USD) contract with Boeing to lease 10 Boeing 737-800 jets. That agreement additionally calls for Boeing to provide pilots and crew, as well as maintenance, fuel, rental of destination real estate, ground support equipment, and company equipment, according to AeroTime.
The first aircraft will be delivered on September 30, 2023, followed by seven more on October 30, 2023.
Mexico’s government is considering providing service to about 20 of the country’s large and mid-size cities, as well as tourist hotspots. That list includes Cancun, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Campeche, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Hermosillo, Ciudad Juárez, Oaxaca, Acapulco, Mazatlan, and La Paz.
Mexicana de Aviación’s main base of operations will be at the new Felipe Angeles International Airport in Mexico City. Its secondary base will be at the still-under-construction Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport in Tulum, Quintana Roo. Construction there is expected to be finished this December, according to López Obrador.
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