Yesterday, Aeromexico sent three Boeing 787 Dreamliners to operate cargo flights between Mexico City and Shanghai, China. This not only meant that 16% of the whole Dreamliner fleet of the carrier is on cargo duty, but it was also the first time an airline from Mexico has operated three simultaneous cargo flights to the same destination.
The first flight was arranged by the Mexican government. The airplane, registration N783AM departed from Mexico City and landed first at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan.
The Mexican government used this aircraft to bring medical supplies into the country. Other nations and their respective carriers are taking similar approaches right now. Recently, Indian airlines moved over 15 tons of medical supplies, and Heathrow airport has become a cargo hub for this as well.
As for Aeromexico, the airline launched a couple of extra flights to Shanghai on the same day as the flight to Tokyo. These flights were chartered by private companies, the airline said in a statement.
“The corporate employees, maintenance, airport, cargo, crews, and pilots are seizing the moment and working to their full capacity to have the airplanes ready if they are required to operate special cargo flights both for the government and the private sector in Mexico and abroad.” -Aeromexico spokesperson
Aeromexico will operate at 20% of its capacity
For the month of April, Aeromexico will operate at 20% of its capacity. Or at least that’s what the airline is hoping for. However, the carrier is also aware that the number could quickly fall if things deteriorate in the country.
Currently, the carrier has 86 of its airplanes grounded. The fleet that is still flying is composed of 33 short-haul planes and five long-haul planes.
Additionally, the airline has canceled 36 routes out of Mexico City, one out of Guadalajara, 14 out of Monterrey, and four from other hubs. Aeromexico also reduced its frequencies of 35 routes from Mexico City, three from Guadalajara, and one from Monterrey.
In March, Aeromexico posted a decrease of 51.4% passengers on its international routes. The domestic market also fell by 35.9%. While these numbers are bad, they were not as bad as some other carriers around the world. This is probably because the coronavirus outbreak arrived in Mexico later, and because the Government never closed down its airspace unlike other nations. However, in April things will likely worsen.
How about other Mexican airlines?
There is one Mexican airline that actually managed to grow in March. Against all odds, low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus grew a marginal 1% last month. The airline managed to do this even when its load factor fell 10.4%.
Still, the decrease in the passenger numbers for Viva Aerobus was more than evident. The previous month it recorded a growth (on a year-to-year basis) of 36.6%. So, we don’t expect Viva to post a growth when April ends. Nor does the airline, which is currently working at 30% of its full capacity.
Meanwhile, Volaris which is the country’s biggest airline by passenger numbers also fell. During March, it transported more than a million and a half passengers, a decrease of 12.8%. In fact, Volaris recently suspended its routes to 14 cities in the United States while reducing 80% of its capacity.
Finally, a lot of buzz has surrounded Interjet. As of 9 April, the airline had lost 44 of its 65 Airbus A320 and A320 family airplanes. This is because since March a total of 11 leasing companies have repossessed their aircraft.
Are Mexican airlines in a better position right now than other carriers worldwide? Let us know in the comments.