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Photo provided by Richard Silagi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mexicana Comeback? Mexican President Considers Creation of a State-Owned Airline

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his government is considering the possibility of creating a publicly run airline to serve destinations that currently do not have good air connectivity.

As part of his daily morning press conference, the president said on Tuesday that the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) could run an airline that would initially have ten aircraft, including the controversial presidential airplane, to offer regular commercial services.

The presidential aircraft is the same Boeing 787-8 acquired during Felipe Calderón’s administration, with registration number XC-MEX, which aroused controversy from the moment of its acquisition. Before taking office, the current president spoke out against its purchase because it represents “a bad deal” for Mexico. After becoming the country’s leader, he put the plane up for sale but never found a buyer.

“The economic viability analysis is being carried out”, said López Obrador. According to the president, his administration is currently analyzing types of aircraft for the new airline’s fleet. However, he clarified that no decision has been made yet, but that “it is very likely that this new airline will be in place by next year”.

In addition, he said the move would represent the return to Mexico of “a symbol and an emblem”. He also remarked that the investigation into the probable future nature of the airline should be expanded. In that sense, he commented that “Mexicana” or another name that “relates to Mexico” would be the best option, although they should analyze the legal viability of that name.

If formed, the carrier would join a list of state-owned companies that look to provide connectivity rather than obtain profits: Colombian SATENA and Argentinian LADE, both operated by the country’s Air Force, are two examples of this particular business model.

The memory of Mexicana de Aviación

The name Mexicana attracted particular attention because of its coincidence with Mexicana de Aviación, a national airline founded in 1921 that ceased operations permanently in 2010. During its last decades of activity, the company remained a majority state-owned enterprise.

On Wednesday, López Obrador reiterated that “it would be very good for the name Mexicana de Aviación to be used in this company that will possibly be formed”. On the other hand, he pledged to consult with the former workers of the defunct company and talk to them about the situation of the lawsuits for unjustified dismissals.

However, he clarified that the Mexican government would not be able to support a full rescue of the company. “We are going to rescue the Mexican people. We must invest where there are benefits for the nation”.

This article was written by Agustin Miguens for Aviacionline.

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  • Aviacionline

    Born in Argentina, with a regional focus and global reach, Aviacionline is the Spanish-speaking leader in Latin America.

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