Med Atlantica, which recently purchased Mexicana de Aviacion, has signaled its intent to retain Mexicana MRO Services, the carrier’s maintenance, repair and overhaul operation, but structure it as a subsidiary of the airline, according to a Mexicana spokesman.
The MRO provider has remained open since the airline ceased operating in August 2010, and has been the only revenue generator for the company as it restructured under bankruptcy court protection.
“MRO Services is an integral part of Mexicana, and revenues generated by it are included in Mexicana’s new business plan,” the spokesman says. “There are no plans to sell it.” He adds that the MRO operation is a guarantor of Mexicana’s total debt, which precludes its sale to an outside buyer. Before Med Atlantica’s investment, industry observers speculated that rival Aeromexico would acquire Mexicana’s maintenance division.
Mexicana MRO Services is a narrowbody airframe specialist, but also has widebody capabilities. With facilities at the international airports of Mexico City and Guadalajara, the company can service up to 10 narrowbodies and two widebodies simultaneously. It outsources landing gear and engine maintenance. The airline accounted for about 60% of Mexicana MRO Services’ business before suspending operations, with third-party airlines comprising the other 40%.
While Mexicana’s revival is planned for August, Med Atlantica has more immediate concerns with its MRO division as the facility’s lease with the airport authority Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico due to expire today. The airline’s unions have joined with management seeking for a lease extension without increased payment terms, although a source close to the airline says that should the lease talks fail the federal government has the authority to shutter the MRO facility after May 31.