During his routine morning press conference on Monday, Dec. 5, President López Obrador declared that the state-owned commercial airline of Mexico would launch flights in late 2023, Mexico News Daily reported.

As a component of its airline and tourism company Olmeca-Maya-Mexica Airport, Railroad, and Auxiliary Services Group, the Ministry of Defense (Sedena) will manage the airline. The Felipe N. Gómez International Airport (AIFA) and the Maya Train train are likewise run by the army-owned company.

“The new airline will begin operations in a year, this is the plan for the end of next year, along with the operation of the [Maya] Train and the appraisal of the Mexicana brand,” Obrador said. 

According to the president, the airline would offer cheaper flights while continuing to serve cities that are not regularly reached by current routes. The entire aviation system of the nation would be enhanced, he stressed. 

The previous national airline, which discontinued operations in 2010, is where Mexicana gets its name. Over 8,000 employees lost their employment as a result of the airline's demise, which was characterized by corruption and poor management. 

President López Obrador has said that the new airline, consisting of a fleet of 10 leased planes, will be staffed by these individuals. 

Given that its operational expenses might range from 1 billion to 1.8 billion pesos, or around $50 million to $90 million, the airline's viability has been called into doubt. 

Additionally, it is forbidden for a business to run an airport and an airline at the same time, however, a presidential decree might be able to get around this. A military-run airline may not attract passengers given the armed services' history of deadly aircraft accidents.

Sedena will be responsible for running the airports in Campeche, Palenque, and Chetumal, according to President López Obrador. The airport at Ciudad del Carmen will be operated by the Navy (Semar). 

“In the case of Campeche, it will be [Sedena] because of the Maya Train, and in the case of Ciudad del Carmen it will be the Navy because they are in charge of serving the entire sea of Campeche and our country’s oil region,” the president said. 

President López Obrador has received widespread criticism for his dependence on the military for activities like public protection and the building of numerous key infrastructure projects.

plane This is a representational image. Unsplash