Amid the current pandemic, Aeromexico operated its longest flight ever this week. The Mexican carrier flew from Mexico City Airport to Shenzhen, in China. While it wasn’t a nonstop route, it did establish a milestone in Mexican aviation history.
Why did Aeromexico fly to Shenzhen?
Until 2019, Aeromexico had one commercial route into China. The airline flew three times a week to Shanghai. Nevertheless, amid the drama surrounding the arrival of Emirates into Mexico (with a stopover in Barcelona), Aeromexico scrapped the route.
At the moment, Aeromexico’s CEO, Andrés Conesa, is saying that the Mexican government never supported the carriers’ petitions to the Chinese government. Aeromexico constantly asked for a daily slot in Shanghai, but the Chinese never gave it, and Mexico never helped. So, in response, Aeromexico canceled its route to focus its efforts on its new Mexico City-Barcelona flight.
Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, Aeromexico has started flying to China again. These flights are not transporting commercial passengers, but rather cargo and medical supplies. It has operated over a hundred flights to Shanghai and now to Shenzhen.
During these past months, the airline has transported medical supplies to 14 countries. It has carried over 1,400 tons in 3,600 flight hours, the airline said. To operate these flights, Aeromexico has used its fleet of 19 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Aeromexico’s longest flight ever
According to Aeromexico, its connection to Shenzhen was the longest flight it had ever conducted. But we have to take something into account: it was not entirely a nonstop flight. The non-stop route between Mexico and Shenzhen would be over 14,000 km. In the first leg of the trip, Aeromexico made a stop at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan.
“The plane departed last Sunday from Mexico City International Airport to Narita in Japan. There we made a technical stop and continued to Shenzhen, from where it came back on Monday in a direct flight to Mexico City, landing at dawn on 26 May.”
The return trip was non-stop and became the longest flight ever for Aeromexico and for the Mexican air industry. It’s not hard to believe as only Aeromexico and Mexicana de Aviacion have operated transcontinental flights in Mexico’s aviation history.
That being said, Aeromexico’s longest flight is still 2,000 km behind the longest flight ever.
What’s up with Aeromexico at the moment?
Just like every other airline in Latin America, Aeromexico is currently in distress. In April, the carrier operated less than 10% of its original schedule.
During the first quarter, the Mexican airline reported over US$100 million in losses and announced a reduction of its fleet. The airline returned four Boeing 737-800s and two Boeing 737-700s to leasing companies.
Aeromexico announced it obtained US$100 million through the company that runs its Salon Premier at Mexico City Airport. Meanwhile, the company expects to burn approximately US$50 million per month.
There’s a silver lining, though. In June, Aeromexico expects to re-launch 33 international frequencies. For instance, from 1 June, Aeromexico will fly back to Seoul, once a week.
What do you think of Aeromexico’s longest flight? Have you ever been to Shenzhen? Let us know in the comments.