Aeromexico close to buying 15 50-seat regional jets - Air Transport Intelligence news, Mary Kirby - 4/11/2003
Aeromexico plans to announce an order for 15 50-seat regional jets in the next 30 days for use by its regional affiliate Aerolitoral, as the carrier sees economic recovery on the horizon.
The airline is currently reviewing bids from Bombardier and Embraer, Aeromexico sales and distribution manager Anthony Batista tells ATI today at the Interline Sales and Marketing Conference (ISMC) in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
"As we look at the future, Aeromexico sees a need for about 15 regional jets," says Batista. "We will likely start taking delivery of the aircraft by the first or second quarter of 2004."
The regional jet order coincides with Aeromexico’s studies the role its regional affiliate. "Aerolitoral will be integrated to the point where all commercial actions will be done by Aeromexico," says Batista. "Aerolitoral, in a sense, in name will cease to exist. A decision about repainting the aircraft has not been finalized, but Aeromexico marketing folks are looking into it."
Aeromexico, meanwhile, is planning to expand its own mainline services to the USA, adding Boston in the first quarter of 2004. "We are in the final stage of working out the details to make sure we are profitable" ahead of the Boston service, says Batista.Aeromexico posted breakeven results in the third quarter, with July and August proving particularly robust. "Things are getting better. We see a trend now. We expect November and December to be good months," says Batista. "We see the economy turning around."
Aeromexico is also undergoing a fleet renewal. The carrier is taking delivery of new Boeing 737-700s and intends to run the aircraft on several USA-Mexico routes, replacing Boeing MD-80 services. It also is phasing out its McDonnell Douglas DC-9s.
"We currently operate some DC-9s in Mexico, but they cannot be operated past the year 2004 due to noise rules," says Batista. "The aircraft will be phased out in September 2004. If they were leased, they will be going back to the lessors. If they are owned, they will be sold."