Mexico May Relaunch Mexicana, Airline To Be Run By The Military

Mexicana was one of the oldest airlines in the world operating under the same brand when it ceased operations on August 28, 2010. Dating back to the 1920s, Pan Am’s Juan Trippe bought took a controlling stake in the carrier in 1929 and Mexicana inaugurated U.S. service, Mexico City – Tuxpan – Tampico – Brownsville, Texas on a Ford Trimotor.

The partially government-owned carrier went into bankruptcy, and several criminal cases emerged involving tax fraud and money laundering by key executives. The departure of the Star Alliance-turned-oneworld member left Mexico with airlines like Aeroméxico, Volaris and Interjet.

Mexico’s President, though, thinks the country needs another airline. He believes the government should launch it, it should be run by the military, and called.. Mexicana.

The Mexican government has a Boeing 787-8 for Presidential use but President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (‘AMLO’) won’t use it, or other Air Force aircraft owned by the government. Obrador himself eschews VIP travel.

The intention was to sell the Presidential Boeing 787 after storing it in the Southern California desert. But it would, instead, become part of this Mexicana reboot which would operate 10 aircraft. Obrador says the airline will be “ready” in 2023.

Personally I’d just love to have my Frecuenta miles back. When it was a Star Alliance airline, Mexicana was a light touch for status match requests, and Frecuenta Gold brought me my first regular access to United’s Red Carpet Clubs. Best of all, they processed upgrades out of discounted business class inventory seven days in advance of travel. You had to proactively request the space, two decades ago, but that meant anyone paying attention on a non-sold out flight could secure premium cabin space.

I love it if only for the nostalgia, but somehow wonder about the wisdom of the Mexican military rebooting a failed airline. What could possibly go wrong?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Ha! Wasn’t Mexico pretty near the #1 most overcapacity market prepandemic?

    As we all know, government airlines are often successful financially, and also good for the privately run airlines they compete with. Ahem.

  2. The new airline won’t be able to launch routes to the USA as Mexico remains downgraded by the FAA as a Category II country, and ineligible to open new routes there. If Mexico spent a fraction of the money and resources it will surely p1ss away on the new Mexicana on regaining its Category 1 status, it would be doing far more to benefit Mexican flyers. Of course, since the Mexican government – like almost all governments – is mostly interested in benefitting itself, this reality is of no importance.

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