When the first Mexicana Airlines flight from Mexico City to the Caribbean resort of Tulum took off, Mexico officially established its airline, run by the armed forces.
It was another indication of the disproportionate importance President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has placed on the armed forces of Mexico. Currently, the airline’s military-owned parent business also runs the nation’s customs office, twelve airports, hotels, and amusement parks.
The Defense Secretary of Mexico, Gen. Luís Cresencio Sandoval, stated that it was “common in developed countries” for the military to oversee such a varied range of industries.
Travelers from Mexican cities will be transported by Mexicana Airlines to resorts such as Acapulco, Mazatlan, Zihuatanejo, Los Cabos, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta. It looks like flights are booked every three or four days, mostly on the weekends. The airline aims to compete primarily on price; for example, the first 425 tickets sold for the journey from Mexico City to Tulum were roughly USD 92, which the government stated was about one-third less than the price of commercial airlines.
But Mexicana’s first flight didn’t go as planned. The airline reported that bad weather in Tulum forced Flight MXA 1788 to be rerouted to the colonial city of Merida. It ultimately lifted off again after a delay, and it landed in Tulum almost five hours after it took off from Mexico city.
Mexicana also intends to operate to sixteen minor regional airports that get extremely few or no flights at the moment. Concerning the possibility of hearing the words “Fasten your seatbelt, and that’s an order,” it seems that the Mexicana flight’s cabin crew were regular people. The air force in Mexico is an arm of the army.
According to Sandoval, the airline started off with three Boeing aircraft and two smaller, leased Embraer aircraft. By early 2024, it plans to lease or buy five more aircraft.
López Obrador referred to the first Boeing 737-800 aircraft’s takeoff as “a historic event” and a “new stage,” signifying the resurgence of the Mexicana airline, which was previously operated by the government but had been privatized, failed financially, and was shut down in 2010.