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Mexico's AeroMexico Eyes Buying, Not Leasing, New Planes
email this pageprint this pageemail usCyntia Barrera Diaz & Veronica Gomez - Reuters
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December 01, 2010

Mexico City - AeroMexico, the only major Mexican airline left flying, is weighing whether to buy 10 airplanes from Boeing instead of leasing them as it expects consumer demand for air travel to increase in the near term, the company's CEO said on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Andres Conesa told Reuters that AeroMexico, benefiting from the demise of rival Mexicana, would consider buying new carriers over a period of three years starting in 2012.

AeroMexico had delayed receipt of 10 Boeing 737s as the domestic airline industry struggled with the effects of recession and the aftermath of the 2009 flu outbreak that scared tourists away from beaches and colonial towns across the country.

Boeing's 737's are among the newest additions to its short-to-medium range commercial fleet.

Conesa has forecast that AeroMexico could transport at least 13 million passengers next year, compared with close to 12 million expected for 2010.

AeroMexico became the only large Mexican airline in the skies after competitor Mexicana ceased operations in August under heavy debt and labor conflicts. Its affiliated carriers, Link and Click, also stopped flying.

While Mexicana could be revived by a relatively unknown boutique investment firm, no cash has been committed by the potential suitor.

Mexicana controlled many routes into the United States. But restrictions imposed on Mexico by U.S. aviation authorities due to safety lapses mean domestic airlines are not able to take over those routes for now.

Conesa said AeroMexico, a member of the SkyTeam alliance, was evaluating new flights to Canada, Caracas, Panama, Madrid and Barcelona as the outlook for the industry improved.

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