The airline resumed operations after 13 years, but the inaugural flight of Mexicana de Aviación could not land at its destination. Additionally, a document from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) reveals that the airline will incur losses of over two billion pesos during the first years.
The first flight of Mexicana de Aviación to Mexican skies was not without complications. At 8:02 am on December 26, the inaugural flight took off from the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) destined for Tulum, Quintana Roo, carrying 147 passengers.
However, adverse weather conditions worked against the flight, forcing it to land at the Mérida airport at 10:28 am. Fog prevented the aircraft from continuing its journey to Tulum as scheduled. It was not until 12:05 pm that the airline announced on its social media platforms that the flight had resumed its route to its final destination, ultimately landing 30 minutes later.
Although the weather situation during the first flight of Mexicana de Aviación is beyond the control of the airline and the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), responsible for Mexicana de Aviación, the 147 people who were supposed to arrive in Tulum at 10 am experienced a significant delay.
Mexicana de Aviación will only operate in 9 out of 20 destinations… and other issues pending for the airline
Despite the announcement of operations to 20 destinations, the airline currently can only fulfill nine of them. Sedena estimates that the airline can carry out a total of 378 operations per week to 20 destinations, reaching around 19,764 annual flights.
The lack of aircraft was a problem Mexicana de Aviación faced in early December. At this time, it is planned to use three aircraft, including State-owned Boeing 737-800 planes, for its initial flights. Additionally, it is expected that a U.S. company will deliver 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, leased with crew, in 2024, according to Luis Crescencio Sandoval, Secretary of Defense.
However, a document from Sedena obtained by El Financiero reveals that between 2024 and 2029, the department estimates that the new military airline will incur losses of 2,316 million 603 thousand 110 pesos. Furthermore, to start operations, it will need five billion pesos, so the projected annual losses are considerable, reaching their highest point in 2024 at 829 million pesos.
Mexicana de Aviación, which ceased operations in 2010 and declared bankruptcy in 2014, seeks its resurgence in 2023. The Federal Government plans to financially support the operation, although the projected losses would fall on taxpayers, who will have to face them through taxes.
The return of Mexicana de Aviación is part of a process that began in 2022 when the intention to create a new state-owned airline under the name Mexicana de Aviación was announced. In August 2023, the resurgence of the brand was confirmed with its purchase for 815 million pesos and plans to resume operations under the management of the Olmeca-Maya-Mexica Airport, Railway, and Auxiliary Services Group S.A de C.V. The airline aims to be profitable by 2030, according to Sedena’s estimates.
What are the prices of Mexicana de Aviación?
Additionally, AMLO announced that the airline will reach destinations not contemplated by commercial companies and will provide service at strategic points in the country’s tourism activity.