***Update on 04/24/2021 at 00:04 UTC – Inserted statement from Boeing***
According to information issued today, Aeromexico has apparently cut its order for new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by half. The airline has received six 737 MAX aircraft so far and was one of the first to return the type to service. The MAX reduction is accompanied by an increase in the airline’s expected 787 Dreamliner deliveries.
The Boeing 737 MAX order book has taken some hits, and the recent cash crunch airlines have faced as a result of the ongoing crisis along with the type’s grounding did not help sales for some time. However, since its recovery, some substantial orders have been placed for the type, most recently by Southwest Airlines. Now Aeromexico has seemingly cut its order, but it appears to be unrelated to the aircraft’s grounding.
Part of the airline’s restructuring
Aeromexico today revealed that it had reached an agreement to alter its Boeing aircraft orders as part of its ongoing restructuring under Chapter 11. According to the airline, the deal will see it take 24 737 MAX aircraft and four more Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
So far, Aeromexico has received six 737 MAX aircraft, with Boeing’s order book showing 54 outstanding orders as of the end of March. This gives 60 overall orders. However, if the airline only takes 24 737 MAX aircraft, the order will effectively be halved.
Interestingly, the airline currently has zero outstanding Boeing 787 Dreamliner orders, according to the manufacturer. This suggests that it perhaps sees long-haul as more important as it deals with the industry post-COVID. The airline will take four new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, adding to its current fleet of 18 aircraft. In 2013 Boeing reported that the airline had ordered 19 Dreamliners. However, one recently left the airline, bound to become a private jet.
Commenting on the change to the order, Aeromexico’s CEO, Andreas Conesa, commented,
“These transactions show the confidence of our employees, customers, lessors, manufacturers, investors, and business partners in the future of Mexico’s global airline. It will also give us flexibility to complete other negotiations and put Aeromexico on a strong path to exit Chapter 11 later this year”
Boeing stated the following:
“Aeromexico is a valued Boeing customer, and we are pleased to reach an agreement that will allow the airline to adjust its order book to meet its business needs during the travel recovery ahead. We are honored that Aeromexico has reaffirmed its commitment to both the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner as the carrier builds its future fleet.”
Subject to approval
According to Aeromexico, the order change is still subject to the approval of the United States Court for the Southern District of New York, which is in charge of the airline’s Chapter 11 restructuring process.
However, the airline estimates that this change to its Boeing deliveries will lead to total savings of some $2 billion. This will partly come from spending less to lease fewer aircraft. The order change has also made it possible for Aeromexico to reduce the cost of leasing 18 other aircraft in its fleet.
Aeromexico currently operates a three-type fleet of 107 aircraft. This consists of 47 Embraer E190s, 42 Boeing 737s, and 18 Boeing 787s. Since 2020 the airline has reduced its fleet by 25 aircraft, saying farewell to 737-700s, E170s, and the previously mentioned 787-8.
However, this isn’t the case across the board. According to Simple Flying’s Daniel Martínez Garbuno, the Mexican aviation market shows one of the strongest recoveries. Just yesterday, Simple Flying reported that rival airline Volaris is expanding, taking eight new Airbus A320neos to end the year with 98 aircraft.
What do you make of Aeromexico’s MAX order reduction? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!