Mexican Army-Run Airline Makes First Flight to Resort Town

The military’s role in the revival of state-run Mexicana airlines is to ‘rescue’ it from corruption, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico.

A Mexicana Boeing 737-800 makes the inaugural flight of the military-run state airline on Tuesday. [Courtesy: Mexicana]

Mexico's military has revived the country's former state-operated Mexicana airlines, launching service from Mexico City to a new international airport in the Caribbean.

A Mexicana de Aviación Boeing 737-800—operating as MXA 1788—made the inaugural flight Tuesday morning, departing Felipe Ángeles International Airport (MMSM) near Mexico City and landing at Tulum International Airport (MMTU) around 1:30 p.m. local time. 

Tickets for the flight cost $92, which government officials said was about a third cheaper than commercial offerings, The Associated Press reported. Cabin crewmembers were civilians, officials said.

Earlier this year, the Mexican government spent $48 million to buy the Mexicana brand, which folded 13 years ago following bankruptcy proceedings and years after its privatization, Reuters reported. The development comes as a company controlled by the country's defense ministry has expanded control of 11 airports throughout Mexico, including four last month.

The military's role in the "rescue" of the national airline is to protect it from corruption, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico, said the military's role in the "rescue" of Mexicana airlines is to protect it from corruption. [Courtesy: Mexican government]

"When we talk about public companies, they are people's companies.” López Obrador said at a news conference Tuesday. “For example, Mexicana and Aeroméxico, all railways, ports, airports, telephone companies, most banks, all the mining companies, the oil production, the entire electrical industry...And suddenly new rulers arrive with the idea that these public companies had to pass into the hands of private individuals, and a great fraud is carried out."

“The important thing is that this Mexican airline is rescued after acts of corruption.”

Mexicana will initially serve 14 destinations throughout the country. [Courtesy: Mexicana]

The airline will initially serve 14 airports, including both popular tourist destinations as well as underserved communities, officials said.

“Operation is starting with five aircraft, three 737-800 and two Embraer [ERJ 145], but we are considering starting next year to have, through an American company, the rental of other Boeing aircraft," said Secretary of National Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval González.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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