Mexico's New Airline Will Be Run by the Army

Mexicana will offer low-cost domestic flights, government says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2023 9:41 AM CDT
New Mexican Airline Will Be Run by the Army
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives a press conference in front of the former presidential plane at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte File)

Mexico is getting a new airline with an old name—and it's going to be run by the country's military. The government said Thursday that the airline will be launched later this year under the name of Mexicana de Aviacion, the national carrier that went bust in 2010, reports Reuters. The government said it paid $48 million for the rights to the Mexicana brand. Ticket sales could begin as soon as September. The AP reports that the airline is being run by the army, but pilots and flight attendants won't be soldiers—the government said Boeing, from which the airline is leasing 10 Boeing 737-800 jets, will also provide pilots and cabin crew.

Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said Thursday that the contract with Boeing is worth $235 million, and he's not sure if the endeavor will be profitable. He said the new Mexicana will stick to domestic service for now, flying around 20 routes between Mexico City and other Mexican cities and tourist resorts, at prices around 20% below those of private airlines. Quartz reports that under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the military has been taking greater control of civil aviation and other areas of the economy, including tourism and infrastructure projects. Administration of the Mexico City International Airport was handed to the navy earlier this week, Reuters reports. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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