On the 28th of August 2010 Mexicana ceased its operations, ending its streak as the longest continuously operating airline in the Americas after 89 years of service.
Between August and October 2010 I wrote about Mexicana, and the likelihood the airline would return a few times, and even appeared on AirplaneGeek.com at the end of August stating that I thought the global investment heavyweight UBS was incorrect in their statements that Mexicana would fly again. It seemed my carefully researched opinions on the return of Mexicana was fighting an up hill battle …
…well here we are, January 2011 and it appears my predictions for Mexicana have been proven correct. Humberto Trevino, Mexico’s Deputy Transport Secretary, has stated that “The 24th [of January] is maintained as a state date for commercial operations, but not aeronautical operations.” Passenger flights are expected to begin in the last days of January or first days of February.
PC Capital has taken over for Tenedora K as the lead investor in the soon to be relaunched Mexicana as the airline seeks its final US$200,000,000 to relaunch. With the airline maintaining much of its infrastructure, gates, hangers, landing slots and eight Airbus A320 aircraft, he start up time for the airline is significantly reduced from ‘fresh start up’ airlines.
The relaunch of Mexicana has been in the works for some time, with the airline sending their Boeing 767 pilots to be retrained training and certified on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft the 17th of December 2010.
While the actual date Mexicana will be begin to fly revenue passengers is still being determined, the airline’s initial routes have been disclosed. From Mexicana’s Mexico City hub the airline will relaunch service to four of its OneWorld alliance partner American Airlines’ hubs, with three-times daily service to Los Angeles (LAX), and two times daily service to New York (JFK) , Miami (MIA) and Chicago (ORD).
Mexicana will also fly twice daily to Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO), as well as once daily to San Antonio (SAT), Toronto and Montreal … followed by 25 additional destinations by the end of 2011, throughout North America and South America.
Presently Mexicana remains in possession of eight Airbus A320-231 aircraft, configured with 12 first class seats and 138 economy class seats. Mexicana will need to acquire new aircraft to meet the rigorous schedule they have set in place for the relaunch of the airline. But if the airline has planed out its phased in return and worked with aircraft leasing companies to either reclaim aircraft or acquire additional aircraft, this process can go smoothly for them as they work to return to their former glory.
Its nice to see an airline return from the dead, especially once that has been counted out … hopefully with all the contracts in place and a streamlined operation Mexicana can see its 90th anniversary and have a another 90 more.