MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Mexico is gearing up to revive its state-owned airline, Mexicana de Aviacion, with plans to launch later this year. 

As reported by local media on May 4, the Mexican government has reached an agreement with Boeing, the US aircraft manufacturer, to supply the airline with aircraft. The specific aircraft model, however, has yet to be disclosed.

In a tweet from the Mexican government's official account on May 1, it was announced that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had confirmed the new Mexicana de Aviacion would begin operations in 2023, following its approval by the country's Senate. Obrador also mentioned ongoing negotiations with Boeing to secure the aircraft.

According to aviation publication, the airline is expected to be operated by the army and have a fleet of 10 aircraft. The Mexican government acquired Mexicana's assets earlier this year for 816,786,000 Mexican pesos (around $45 million).

Mexican aviation blog En El Aire stated on May 4 that negotiations with Boeing were in progress to determine the exact aircraft model, as the government aims to offer competitive prices for routes serviced by government-operated airports.

In a statement, Boeing confirmed its collaboration with President Obrador's government on the Mexicana de Aviacion project, highlighting Mexico's significant role in the company's global strategy. Mexico is Boeing's largest supplier nation in Latin America and ranks among the top 10 worldwide for airplane components and assemblies.

Mexicana Boeing 757

Mexicana de Aviacion was Mexico's first-ever airline. The carrier has an impressive history as North America's oldest airline and the world's fourth-oldest operator after the Netherlands' KLM, Colombia's Avianca, and Australia's Qantas, Mexicana provided domestic services as well as international flights across North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. The airline's primary hub was located at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport, with secondary hubs in Cancún and Guadalajara.

Although Mexicana's main competition came from Aeroméxico, the two airlines code-shared on several routes, and they also faced challenges from low-cost carriers like Volaris and Interjet. In 2009, the Mexicana group, including subsidiaries Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link, transported over 11 million passengers with a fleet of around 110 aircraft.

Between 2007 and 2010, the Mexicana group increased its share in the growing domestic market from 22% to nearly 30% by downsizing its mainline operations while expanding activities at Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link. After initially joining Star Alliance in 2000, Mexicana exited in 2004 and later joined Oneworld in 2009.

Mexicana filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2010, but suspended operations indefinitely later that month. Subsidiaries Click and Link also ceased operations, and in February 2012, it was announced that Med Atlantic had purchased the airline for $300 million.

Following a declaration of bankruptcy in April 2014, Mexicana's assets were ordered to be sold to repay obligations. The company's headquarters were situated in the Mexicana de Aviación Tower in Colonia del Valle, Benito Juárez, Mexico City. In January 2023, the Mexican federal government acquired the brand and majority of its shares, intending to relaunch the state-owned airline.