Mexicana de Aviación starts operations
MEXICO CITY - Mexicana de Aviación, the new airline owned by the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), began operations on December 26, 2023 from its base at Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA).
The process for the restart of Mexicana de Aviación was announced by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in July 2022. Despite some uncertainty over the airline's name due to problems with the trademark rights payment agreement, the issues were finally resolved and the reactivation was confirmed.
The initially announced fleet of 10 B737-800 aircraft was adjusted, and it was revealed that Mexicana de Aviación leased two 50-passenger Embraer 145 ER aircraft from TAR Aerolíneas, operating nine routes instead of the 20 initially planned.
The inaugural flight, scheduled to Tulum, Quintana Roo, experienced setbacks due to bad weather in the Yucatan Peninsula. Fog at the Tulum airport and the lack of an ILS system forced flight 1788 MXA to be diverted to the Merida airport until weather conditions improved.
Despite the obstacles, the start-up ceremony was emotional, with more than 150 passengers eager to be part of Mexicana Airlines' comeback story. The airline offered flights to destinations such as Acapulco, Ciudad Victoria, Guadalajara, Ixtepec, Nuevo Laredo, Palenque, Uruapan, Villahermosa and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.
The inaugural flight, operated with a new generation B737-800 aircraft, registration XA-ASM, took off from AIFA after 8:00 a.m., marking the return of Mexicana Airlines to the national skies. Although it experienced a delay in landing in Tulum due to fog, it finally arrived at its destination.
During the period between 2024 and 2029, it is anticipated that the airline could face cumulative losses of around US$135 million. To start operations, it is estimated that US$293 million will be required, which is in addition to the total projected investment.
Financial projections indicate that the airline will operate in the red for the first few years, recording a negative balance of approximately US$48 million in the first year and accumulating losses through 2028.