Earlier this week the Mexican Government announced it would support the relaunch of Mexicana de Aviación. Yesterday we spoke with Rafael Suárez, Mexicana’s delegate in the Mexican Pilots Association (ASPA). He told us what they needed to do in order to relaunch the oldest airline in the country. Let’s investigate further.
An investor and 60 million USD
The actual relaunch of Mexicana is still a dream. But it is very viable, says Suárez. Firstly, the former workers of the airline need to untangle the trials that have been ongoing since 2010 before actually bringing back the airline. They are still trying to get payment due after the cease of operations, which happened in August 2010.
But, if the trials are successful for the former workers, they would have an open road to search for a new investor. Then, they would have to sell every asset still belonging to the workers, including the Mexicana MRO. After that, they would need between 30 and 60 million USD to put the pieces back together. And then, they would have to find a fleet, likely composed of the Airbus A320 family.
But what does the government offer?
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mexican president, wasn’t very clear when he spoke about Mexicana’s future. He just said that they’re working with the former employees of the carrier so they may have options, like having a new airline. “We would give them the permissions to operate” he added.
Basically, the Government is sitting and waiting. Meanwhile, the former employees have to do all the heavy lifting. Still, Lopez Obrador’s government has a lot to gain from a new Mexicana.
Mexicana would operate from Santa Lucia
The Mexican Government is building Santa Lucia International Aiport in a former military base. Its construction is a big controversy in the country because, to do it, the government canceled the ongoing construction of another airport, one which was going to be bigger. Now, Mexico City will have three operating airports by 2022, instead of just one.
The problem is that not many airlines are actually interested in having flights from two of those airports, Santa Lucía and Toluca. Aeromexico has stated that it won’t operate from any other hub than Mexico City International Airport. Its allies, such as Delta, Avianca, and even LATAM have said the same.
Then this new Mexicana appears.
“We know Mexico’s City Airport is saturated. We know it can’t be our hub. But an airline as big as this Mexicana de Aviación would be, could operate perfectly from Santa Lucía, Toluca or Querétaro. We’ve spoken with the government telling them that both parties have a lot to win with this deal,” said Suárez.
So, will it happen?
At the moment, I’m very skeptical about Mexicana 2.0. I would love to see it, but the pieces are not aligned as of yet. Mexico’s aviation market currently has four big airlines and a lot of small players. This would make the entrance of a new airline tricky, even if it has the name Mexicana in it.
Airlines in Mexico don’t have a financial backup at the moment. Interjet and Aeromexico have recorded losses in consecutive years even though the number of passengers is as high as it has ever been.
Mexico City is not an option to become a hub for any airline due to its constraints. And the plan of the new government in Santa Lucía is still just a plan, far from concrete.
The possibility of its relaunch is something that excites the minds of many in Mexico. Sadly, it is still just a dream.
What do you think? Are we going to see Mexicana back in the sky any time soon? Let us know in the comments.