On Saturday, Aeromexico retired the first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner it ever received after seven years of flying with the Mexican carrier. It is the first long-haul airplane Aeromexico has retired since the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the airline’s finances. Will we see more?
Aeromexico’s international connectivity has been dramatically impacted by the travel restrictions and dismal passenger demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the airline has had to reinvent the use of its long-haul fleet. Aeromexico had a fleet of 19 Boeing 787 Dreamliners at the end of 2020 – nine 787-8 and ten 787-9.
Historically, it has used this fleet to connect with long-haul destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, and London in Europe; Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, and other Asian cities; and Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Nevertheless, now we see Aeromexico deploy the Dreamliners in domestic routes like Mexico City-Cancun, Mexico City-Tijuana, and international routes like Mexico City-Bogota.
Also, the airline is facing a Chapter 11 financial reorganization in the US. It has already reduced its fleet’s size, retiring older aircraft like the Embraer E170 and the Boeing 737-700. Aeromexico’s fleet went from 130 in January 2020 to 107 by December.
It was a matter of time before it started retiring its long-haul fleet.
On Saturday, a Dreamliner registration N961AM flew from Mexico City to Tucson, Arizona. From there, it also flew to Goodyear, Arizona, for storage, according to RadarBox data.
What’s going to happen with N961AM and the rest of the fleet?
The owner of N961AM is Wilmington Trust. This international leasing company is now storing N961AM at Goodyear for at least a few days. According to some reports, the Dreamliner already has a new designated operator. Airport Webcams reported that the Portuguese carrier EuroAtlantic will operate N961AM in the future.
Now, the question is, what will happen with the remainder of Aeromexico’s Dreamliner fleet?
As we’ve stated, Aeromexico is currently reducing its fleet’s size as part of its reorganization efforts. It has also changed a few of its leasing contracts to Power By Hour leasing arrangements.
The airline still has four Boeing 787-9 yet to be received and the majority of its Boeing 737 MAX order of 60 units. At least two Dreamliners, registrations XA-SSS and XA-RRR, are parked at Everett, waiting to be delivered.
Aeromexico hasn’t updated whether it will receive its remaining airplanes. We contacted the airline; it declined to comment.
Last week, Aeromexico agreed on US$550 million in cuts with its pilots and cabin crew unions. These agreements allow the airline to access its remaining US$625 million DIP Financing under its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
The airline still has to produce its financial results for 2020’s fourth quarter. Before that, Aeromexico had added a net loss of US$1.6 billion up to the third quarter.
In 2020, Aeromexico transported nearly 9.5 million passengers, according to Mexican Government stats. Nevertheless, 2021 is proving to be a more challenging year for the Mexican carrier.
The US Government recently imposed new travel measures, which will impact Aeromexico’s recovery. Additionally, Canada suspended flights to Mexico. Both Canada and the US are incredibly important markets for Mexican travelers.
The uncertainty regarding the international market could prompt Aeromexico to retire more Dreamliners in the future. Aeromexico has to adjust its size to the current market.
Did you expect Aeromexico to retire its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner after seven years of use? Let us know in the comments