Grupo Aeromexico’s order for 100 aircraft signals a sea change in the carrier’s strategy, moving from a fleet that is three-quarters leased to one that will be two-thirds owned by the end of the decade, says CEO Andres Conesa Labastida.
The airline on July 25 signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 90 737 MAX and 10aircraft. Deliveries of the 737-8s are expected to begin in 2018 and the 787-9s by the end of the decade. The 787s will replace that are coming off lease by 2020, says Conesa.
The 787-9s will use-1B engines, the same engines chosen for the two 787-8s ordered in 2006 and five 787-8s to be leased from International Lease Finance Corp.
Aeromexico also is closing “power by the hour” maintenance agreements with both engine makers.
Aeromexico’s first pre-delivery payment of $42 million for the new order is due to Boeing by year-end, and will be funded with cash from operations, Conesa told analysts during a conference call to discuss the airline’s second- quarter results. The balance of the financing has not been determined.
By maintaining a fleet that is two-thirds airline-owned and one-third leased, the airline will “have the flexibility to maintain a static fleet size of about 110-120 aircraft,” says the Aeromexico CEO.
Conesa notes the aircraft order does not reflect a large increase in capacity but is meant to replace equipment going off lease.
The airline also expects to take delivery this year of the first of 10ordered last year.