Wednesday, April 24, 2024

New Tulum airport will operate as a base for Mexicana airlines

The new Felipe Carrillo International airport in Tulum will serve as an additional base for the revived Mexicana de Aviación (Mexicana) airline, which the Mexican government confirmed purchasing on Thursday.

The Tulum airport, still under construction, will be one of two bases used by the state-run airline, which will begin ticket sales in September. President López Obrador said in June that the Tulum airport was 44% complete, and that it will be inaugurated in December of this year. The Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA) will be the airline’s other main base, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval explained Thursday. 

Rendering of Tulum airport
A rendering of the Felipe Carrillo Puerto airport in Tulum. (Gob MX)

The Mexicana airline, operated by the military-run Olmeca-Maya-Mexica tourism company, will provide service to 20 destinations in Mexico, most of which are already served by other domestic airlines. Sandoval emphasized that the ticket prices, in single-class seating, will be between 18% and 20% lower than the prices offered by other domestic airlines. 

The minister ruled out any possibility that the airline’s reduced ticket costs would be subsidized by the government, explaining that the structure in which the airline operates will give it a market advantage. 

“There is an advantage. [The airline] is a state company, just like AIFA and the Tulum airport are state companies. Likewise, the Navy and the Defense Ministry will be responsible for operating different airports, many of which are destinations I have already mentioned,” he explained. 

The Mexican government finalized its 815 million peso (US $48 million) purchase of the Mexicana brand on Thursday, paving the way for the state-owned airline to resume operations after shutting down in 2010. The airline comes with an initial investment of 4 billion pesos (US $235 million) and will facilitate connections to the Maya Train, one of the president’s main infrastructure projects.

The Mexicana airline will begin operations with an initial fleet of 10 Boeing aircraft. (Andrea Murcia/Cuartoscuro)

The armed forces will operate an initial fleet of 10 leased Boeing 737-800 airplanes, three of which will be delivered on September 30. Seven additional aircraft will be put into service in October. 

“We sought a partnership with a recognized company that has a prestigious trajectory and extensive global experience. … Boeing provided guidance in the preparation of our business plan and continues to provide us support,” Sandoval said.

With reports from La Jornada Maya and El Economista

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