Grupo Aeromexico delivered an operating profit of US$16.3 million during 2021’s third quarter, the first quarter of profitability since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite that good number, overall, the Mexican carrier posted a net loss of US$111 million during the period. Let’s investigate further.
Aeromexico’s 3Q results
The Mexican airline Aeromexico is currently in a Chapter 11 process in the United States due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Slowly but surely, Aeromexico has implemented a financial restructuring while continuing to operate commercial flights.
In the third quarter, Aeromexico’s revenue reached US$653 million, a 27.9% decrease with respect to 2019. Nevertheless, that revenue was also a 32.2% increase compared to 2021’s second quarter.
Aeromexico’s third-quarter capacity, measured in available seat kilometers, decreased only by 26.9% compared to the same period of 2019. The airline has been able to recover, although at a slower pace than its domestic competition, Volaris and Viva Aerobus.
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Aeromexico carried 4.5 million passengers between July and September, only a 13.8% decrease compared to its pre-pandemic levels. The airline stated,
“In spite of the current challenging environment, the market showed encouraging signs of recovery. During the third quarter, Aeromexico deployed 24.8% more capacity than during the second quarter with improvements in both domestic and international markets, which grew by 11.6% and 35.4% respectively.”
These numbers are consistent with Aeromexico’s current projections. The airline expects to bounce back to profitability in 2022.
Aeromexico’s fleet grew
Despite being in Chapter 11, Aeromexico is being ambitious regarding its fleet plans. The Mexican carrier expects to have a fleet of up to 154 aircraft by 2025, with 133 narrowbodies and 21 widebodies.
During 2019’s third quarter, Aeromexico had a fleet of 127 aircraft, including six Boeing 737 MAX units that were parked. One year later, the fleet had been reduced to 106 aircraft following the impact of the COVID crisis. Aeromexico rejected the leasing contracts of its Embraer E170 fleet, as well as several Boeing 737-700 and 737-800.
We expected Aeromexico to continue reducing its fleet, but the airline has decided otherwise. Aeromexico has signed power by the hour agreements on its fleet and rearranged its order with Boeing. It also signed lease agreements with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and Air Lease Corporation Group.
Aeromexico took delivery of two Boeing 737-800s and two B737 MAX 9s in 2021’s third quarter. Its current fleet comprises 122 aircraft, including 18 B787, 41 B737 NGs, 16 B737 MAX, and 47 Embraer E190.
Where is Aeromexico flying right now?
In October 2021, Aeromexico is offering 14,058 flights, according to Cirium. That number is a 17.4% decrease compared to 2019 levels.
The airline still has to reactivate several routes, mainly from airports not in Mexico City. Aeromexico’s current main routes connect Mexico City with Cancun, Monterrey, and Guadalajara, the three main airports in the country after Mexico City.
Internationally, Aeromexico’s main route is between Mexico City and Los Angeles. It is offering 124 flights in October 2021, a 275.8% increase compared to 2019 levels. Mexico-Houston comes in second place with 94 flights, followed by Mexico-JFK and Mexico-Miami. Aeromexico’s most important route not in the United States or Mexico is to Guatemala, with 76 flights.
By December, Aeromexico expects to operate 15,398 flights, a 12.9% decrease compared to 2019 levels.
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