Grupo Aeromexico expects the reentry to service of the Boeing 737 MAX in September 2020, said Andres Conesa, CEO of the Mexican airline.
What does this mean?
During an earnings conference call, Andres Conesa said that the airline remains in constant communication with Boeing and the Mexican and international aeronautical regulatory authorities. He added,
“Our expected date for reentry to service of the plane stands today at September 2020 in line with several other carriers.”
Then again, other airlines such as Southwest have only just removed the MAX from its flight schedule through June 6, 2020. American Airlines anticipates the resumption of commercial service will occur June 4.
The last thing we heard about the MAX is that Boeing is almost ready to do its first test flights. Stephen Dickson, FAA Administrator said that there’s still a long way to go, but that all parties involved are approaching the milestone of the certification flight.
Previously, Boeing said that they expected the ban on the MAX to be lifted in the middle of the year. That is why Aeromexico is betting on reentry to service in September. The airline knows that the Mexican authorities will approve the MAX at the same time as the FAA. After that, it will take a few months to put the MAX back in the skies.
Aeromexico lost 127 million USD in 2019
During 2019, Aeromexico had a net loss of approximately 127 million USD. The company didn’t specify exactly how much money was lost due to the MAX. But, to put it in context, Southwest took an $800 million hit from the MAX grounding.
Fortunately for Aeromexico, the carrier and Boeing agreed to a compensation agreement during the fourth quarter of 2019. This lead to an operating profit of approximately $91 million USD to end last year.
“This is an improvement of MXN 2.7 billion year-on-year and 15 percentage point improvement in operating margin,” said Conesa.
He added that the agreement covers the operational delays up to a certain date. Then Aeromexico will sit again with Boeing and negotiate further compensation, he added.
Despite not having the MAX, Aeromexico flew high in 2019
Last year, Aeromexico carried almost 21 million passengers. It fell behind Volaris as the main airline in Mexico, but this can be attributed to the MAX crisis. During 2019, the airline canceled a few international routes, mainly to Ecuador, Belize and the Dominican Republic.
Even so, Aeromexico delivered 270 days with a 100% completion factor and 69 consecutive days without any cancellation, which adds up to close to 40,000 flights in a row.
The airline also installed free messaging in all its 737-800 fleet and completed the same idea on its 787 fleet. Some 1.3 million customers were noted to have downloaded the Aeromexico app.
Finally, at the end of last year, Aeromexico had a fleet of 69 airplanes on its main branch, excluding the six B737 MAX that it had. But the carrier expected to end the year with 13 MAX airplanes. Aeromexico Connect, the regional branch, ended 2019 with 56 airplanes.
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