New State-run Mexicana to Operate as LCC

DALLAS — The new Mexicana (MX) aims to offer LCC fares between 18% and 20% cheaper than existing airlines by leveraging synergies with other state operators.

The plans presented this week for the launch of the new state airline do not involve the granting of subsidies to the airline. However, it remains to be seen how other airlines will perceive this as potential unfair competition.

The objective of this initiative is to generate more competitiveness in the local market. General Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the Secretary of National Defense who oversees Mexicana de Aviación, announced that the main base of the airline will be at Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU), another symbol of the aeronautical work of the López Obrador administration.

Additionally, a second base will be established at Felipe Carrillo International Airport (FCQ) in Tulum, Quintana Roo, upon completion of construction.

The airlines’ network of destinations will include flights from NLU to Cancun, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Campeche, Chetumal, Merida, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Hermosillo, Ciudad Juarez, Villahermosa, Huatulco, Oaxaca, Acapulco, Mazatlan, La Paz, and Leon.

In parallel, infrastructure works will be carried out at the airports of Apodaca, Tulum, Ciudad Ixtepec, Ciudad Victoria, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad del Carmen, Ciudad Obregón, Loreto, Palenque, Nogales, Puebla, Tamuín, Uruapan, Matamoros, Colima, and Guaymas, so that they are ready to receive operations with the airline’s Boeing 737-800s.

Mexicana Boeing 727. Photo: De Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland,– dw, Mexicana Boeing 727; XA-MXI@MIA; 31.01.1998, CC BY-SA 2.0

Staffing and Fleet Details

According to, the airline currently employs 209 individuals, and this number is expected to increase to 745 by the time scheduled operations commence.

Mexicana de Aviación plans to lease ten Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each with a capacity of 180 passengers. Three of these planes are set to arrive in September, with the remaining seven scheduled for delivery by October 30. The total investment for this fleet expansion amounts to approximately MEX4 billion (US$235 million).

Mexicana de Aviación has received guidance from Boeing in developing its business plan and continues to receive support from the manufacturer in the process of obtaining the air operator’s certificate. The airline aims to begin scheduled flights in December.

The Aviacionline report adds that each Mexicana de Aviación aircraft will have three Mexican crews. The livery of the planes will feature the characteristic colors of the Mexican flag: green, white, and red.

In January 2023, the Mexican government signed an agreement to buy the Mexicana brand for MEX815 million (US$45 million). The payment for the acquisition of the brand will be distributed among 7,407 former workers of what was once Mexico’s oldest airline. As of August 15, pilots, flight attendants, and workers will begin to receive payment under the agreement.

Featured image: Mexicana’s Airbus A330 (retired in 2010) at Cancun International Airport with its new look. Photo: De Hidalgo Cahue, Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0

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