Mexico’s Military to Operate New Mexicana Airline with Military Planes

Mexico's military is set to launch Mexicana, the country's newest commercial airline, utilizing military aircraft after a leasing deal collapsed.

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The Latin American Post Staff

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Leer en español: El ejército de México operará la nueva aerolínea Mexicana con aviones militares

Unprecedented Military-Operated Airline Emerges

In an unprecedented move in the aviation industry, Mexico is gearing up to launch its latest commercial airline, operated by the military, with the inaugural flight scheduled for later this month. This development comes after a previous plan to lease aircraft fell through, leading to a unique solution: using military planes for commercial purposes.

The revived airline, adopting the historic "Mexicana" name, is set to commence operations with a fleet comprising two Boeing 737-800s and an older model 737-300, as reported by the newspaper Reforma, citing inside sources. These aircraft, usually reserved for military use, have been dispatched for inspection, confirmed by the head of Mexico's aviation authority, AFAC, in a conversation with El Financiero newspaper.

AFAC has refrained from commenting further on the matter. Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, has yet to respond to inquiries regarding this unusual arrangement.

Military's Role in Aviation Sector Resurgence

In September and October, Mexicana was poised to receive a fleet of 10 rented Boeing 737-800s. However, with the leasing agreement falling through, the airline is now also exploring possibilities to rent at least one Embraer 145 from the regional carrier TAR, as per various media reports.

Jorge Nuno, Mexico's Transportation Minister, expressed uncertainty about the specific aircraft to be employed but confirmed that the airline is actively preparing to launch several initial routes on December 26. He mentioned earlier this week that route selection is still underway, contingent on aircraft availability.

Backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexicana has already experienced a delayed launch, initially slated for the beginning of the month but postponed due to the unavailability of planes. The airline had briefly opened ticket sales online, but the option was withdrawn.

Nuno added that Mexicana could only resume ticket sales once it secures an air operator license, which hinges on acquiring planes.

President Lopez Obrador's commitment to reviving Mexicana aligns with his vision of offering affordable travel options. The airline, a significant national carrier, entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2010, ending an era in Mexican aviation. Its resurgence under the military's operation is not just a revival of a brand but also a strategic move to diversify and strengthen the nation's aviation sector.

Innovative Approach Raises Questions

This initiative is part of a broader trend in Mexico, where traditionally civilian-led duties in the sector are increasingly being handed over to the military. Recently, several airports previously operated by the transportation ministry have transitioned to military control. This shift represents a significant change in the country's approach to managing crucial infrastructure and industries.

Using military aircraft for commercial flights is a novel approach that has raised eyebrows in the aviation industry. This strategy, born out of necessity due to the failed leasing deal, showcases the government's adaptability and resourcefulness in overcoming logistical challenges. However, it also raises questions about the long-term viability and implications of such a model in commercial aviation.

The aviation world watches keenly as Mexicana prepares for its maiden flight under these unique circumstances. This move could set a precedent for other countries facing similar challenges in their aviation sectors. The successful implementation of this model could pave the way for innovative solutions in utilizing military assets for civilian purposes.

Significance of Military-Operated Mexicana

Moreover, the revival of Mexicana under the military's operation reflects a more profound commitment by the Mexican government to bolster national enterprises and infrastructure. This strategy aligns with President Lopez Obrador's broader national development and self-sufficiency policy.

Also read:Embraer Soars with Porter Airlines' $2.1 Billion Jet Order

The launch of Mexicana, run by the military and utilizing military aircraft, is a significant milestone in Mexico's aviation history. It represents a unique solution to a complex challenge. It signals a new era in the country's approach to managing its aviation sector. As the airline prepares for takeoff, it carries not just passengers but also the aspirations of a nation looking to reinvent itself in the skies.

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