The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the airline industry for a loop, as carriers around the globe rethink their routes, services and business plans.
For Aeromexico, a bankruptcy filing in the United States may have been its most headline-grabbing move this summer, but it’s just one part of the company’s strategy to reposition for success in the coming months.
With no government assistance, Aeromexico quickly mobilized to develop a comprehensive response to the coronavirus pandemic, while relaunching flights that it had suspended during the height of the global crisis — all without the need to resort to layoffs.
After upping its number of flights by 20 percent between July and August, service continues to increase, according to Marc André Ourgant Fernández, communication and crisis manager at Aeromexico. “For August we had 7,300 flights and for September we should finish the month with 7,600 flights,” he said.
The latest route additions are domestic, Ourgant noted, including new flights from Guadalajara to Cancun and Los Cabos, as well as a return of service to Acapulco from Mexico City.
In addition to its already existing service to the United States, Aeromexico is also scheduled to return to Dallas/Fort Worth on September 30. Several other international routes are pending a relaunch, including flights to Tokyo, London, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile and Lima, all of which are slated to return to the carrier’s route map on September 30.
Pandemic-related government regulations are a deciding factor for restarting international service, according to Ourgant, since the airline obviously can’t fly to nations that aren’t currently allowing new flights.
“It depends on the restrictions that all the governments have,” he explained. “We were planning on having the routes to Buenos Aires, Lima and Ecuador from Mexico City [earlier], but we had to postpone that until September because they moved the restrictions. So it all depends on them. If they want to change it again until October, we need to change our flight schedules.”
While Aeromexico has grounded 19 of its aircraft during the bankruptcy process, it’s still operating all four aircraft types in its fleet, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 737-800 and two types of Embraer regional aircraft.
The airline is already making room for more flights at its main hub at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, as final touches are wrapped up on a new concourse with seven new gates in terminal two. Just a few yards away, Aeromexico’s Salon Premier VIP lounge recently reopened…