New Airline Will Not Use Mexicana’s Brand, GoodsBy Antonio Gozain | Fri, 08/27/2021 - 16:31
The new Mexican airline, scheduled to begin operations in March 2022 from the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA) and to employ former Mexicana de Aviación employees, will neither use the defunct airline’s brand and goods nor resolve lawsuits filed against the defunct company, said an anonymous source to A21.
Mexicana de Aviación goods’ exact value remains unknown. However, Fausto Guerra, Representative of the Retired, Active and Former Workers of Mexican Aviation (AJTEAM) valued them to be roughly MX$1.1 billion (US$55 million). Besides lawsuits, unredeemed contracts and rents, the debt to former and retired employees is over MX$9 billion (US$450 million). The official name for the new airline remains unknown.
Mexicana de Aviación stopped operations in 2010 and at the time it employed over 8,000 collaborators. The new airline aims to hire as many of those as possible. However, 11 years later, it is probable that many of the collaborators will no longer have valid licenses or the average age. The company, which will operate as a hybrid cooperative, will initially employ 2,000 people, including pilots, flight attendants, administrative and ground personnel. Five years later, the airline expects to add 3,000 more workers.
Ten years ago, Mexican and foreign investors wanted to rescue Mexicana de Aviación, but the Mexican president at the time, Felipe Calderón, blocked efforts to do so, explained Miguel Ángel Yúdico Colín, General Secretary of the National Union of Transport, Transformation, Aviation, Services and Similar Workers (SNTTTASS), during a celebration for the company ‘Mexicana: A Century of Mexico’s First Airline,’ reported MBN. This time, Mexico’s Federal Government will grant a US$155 million loan for the creation of the new airline.
“This business would not represent a possible return of Mexicana, but a job opportunity for former employees who were left adrift after the airline suspended its operations,” said the source to A21. According to the SNTTTASS, the airline will start operating with three aircraft that can hold up to 120 passengers each operating five under-two-hour flights per day, although routes have not been announced yet.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the Interjet crisis, the Mexican aviation industry struggles but keeps fighting to recover its 2019 figures. With the Boeing 737 Max return to the skies and travel restrictions steadily tempering, FEMIA expects the sector to fully recover by 2024. The construction of AIFA, plus the creation of the new airline could help the industry in its road to recovery.