Founded in 1921, Compañía Mexicana de Aviación, S.A. de C.V. (commonly known as Mexicana) was Mexico's oldest airline, before ceasing operations on August 28, 2010. The group's closure was announced by the company's recently installed management team a short time after the group filed for Concurso Mercantil (Mexican law equivalent to US Chapter 11) and US Chapter 15. It had its headquarters in the Mexicana de Aviación Tower in Colonia del Valle, Benito Juárez, Mexico City.
In addition to domestic services, Mexicana operated flights to various international destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America and Europe (until August 31). Its primary hub was Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport, with secondary hubs at Cancún International Airport, and Guadalajara's Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport.
Mexicana's main competitors were Aeroméxico (although the two companies "codeshared" on several routes), and low-cost carriers such as Volaris and Interjet. It was North America's oldest airline and the world's fourth oldest airline operating under the same name, after the Netherlands' KLM, Colombia's Avianca and Australia's Qantas.
In 2009, the Mexicana group of airlines (including Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link) carried just over 11 million passengers (6.6 million on domestic routes and 4.5 million on international routes, primarily to the US), using a fleet of some 110 aircraft.
Over the three years prior to its folding, the Mexicana group had increased its share of what was a burgeoning domestic market, from around 22% at the beginning of 2007 to somewhere between 28% and 30% for most of its final 12 months. This was achieved through downsizing mainline Mexicana operations whilst ramping up activities at Mexicana Click ( originally envisaged as a low-cost carrier) and Mexicana Link (its CRJ-operating subsidiary based at Guadalajara).
After first joining Star Alliance in 2000, Mexicana left the alliance in 2004 before joining Oneworld on November 10, 2009. Mexicana entered bankruptcy protection in August 2010 in an attempt to restructure its business operations. On August 27, 2010, Mexicana announced it would suspend operations indefinitely effective noon August 28, 2010. Its subsidiaries Click and Link have since ceased their operations as well.
William Lantie Mallory and George Rihl headed Compañía Mexicana de Aviación ("Mexican Aviation Company" or "Mexican Airline Company"), a competitor to CMTA; they acquired the latter's assets in 1924 and the company that emerged existed until 2010. In 1925 Sherman Fairchild purchased a 20% stake in the Mexican airline, introducing Fairchild FC2 airplanes in 1928. In February 1929, Juan Trippe of Pan Am took over the majority of the airline's stock, and the company opened its first international route, with service to the United States. Mexicana used the Ford Trimotor plane to operate the Mexico City-Tuxpan-Tampico-Brownsville, Texas, USA, route. Charles Lindbergh piloted the first flight on this route.
Pioneer of aviation and shareholder of Mexicana de Aviacion S.A. de C.V.
The mining engineer William Lantie Mallory Sr. " a great entrepreneur " and that he had been in World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918, had the vision to create the first international competitive airline for Mexico.
William Lantie Mallory Sr, wanted his son William Lantie Mallory Jr continue as head of the company and direct blood line his grandson, Paul John Mallory (who had actually been general manager), for the Mallory family owners continue to be provided " Mexicana de Aviacion ".
But the death of William Lantie Mallory Sr, the Company's shares are sold, and his son could not go in front of Mexicana de Aviacion.
In 2005 Aerocaribe was renamed Click Mexicana and converted all of its fleet from the older generation DC-9s to Fokker 100 aircraft. Click is a wholly owned subsdiary of Mexicana de Aviacion.
Mexicana used Click as a low-cost airline to compete against other low-costs such as Aviacsa, Interjet, A Volar and Volaris. Mexicana employed Click as a feeder line and mostly on lower-passenger routes and times, all in domestic operations, while Mexicana focused on international and longer domestic routes. Mexicana was considering the possibility of expanding Click's fleet to incorporate A319 which could serve destinations in Central America and the Caribbean. Click currently has 22 F100 aircraft in an all economy-plus layout. The main cabin has a smart look with an all grey-leather seats with the Click logo in the headrest. The seat pitch is 35°. In 2008 Mexicana and Click were invited to the Oneworld alliance at the member and member affiliate level, respectively.
Mexicana rebranded Click Mexicana as MexicanaClick with the announcement of the new corporate livery late-November 2008. MexicanaClick highlights the Mexicana linkage.
Mexicana, Mexico’s largest airline, said it signed in March 2009 an agreement with Boeing to lease 25 airplanes for Click. The multi-year contract is part of Mexicana’s fleet renovation program, and the Boeing 717s were to replace the Fokker F-100 aircraft that Mexicana Click currently operates. The subsidiary, Mexicana Click, was expected to begin receiving the planes this month from Boeing’s financing and leasing arm, the companies said in a press release. 16 of the planes were previously used by Midwest Airlines, which returned the aircraft to Boeing when the airline restructured last year. Terms of the lease weren’t disclosed.
Mexicana introduced new livery in the second half of 2008. It consists of a "eurowhite" fuselage with the front in marine blue outlining a stylized eagle. The tail features the same eagle in marine blue with a light-blue background. New graphic design is the work of Gabriel Martínez Meave, a renowned Mexican designer who has received several international awards, most recent of them from the Type Directors Club.
Mexicana offers "Clase Elite", or business class, on all flights. Warm meals are served on all domestic and international flights longer than 40 minutes. Passengers also receive snacks throughout the flight, selection of meals, and generous refreshments. The seats on the Boeing 767-300ER are 23 inches across and recline 160°; while seats on the Airbus 320 are 22 inches across and recline approx 100° degrees. The seats are dark blue with small Aztec logos embossed on the seat with a white headrest cover displaying Mexicana's logo in black. Catering services are provided by Executive Chef Enrique Olvera
Up to 2011, Mexicana has been involved in a total of 26 incidents, including 9 fatal.
On June 4, 1969, Flight 704 crashed near Salinas Victoria; some 20 miles north of the city of Monterrey. All 79 people on board were killed, including Mexican tennis star Rafael Osuna. The aircraft was a Boeing 727-64, with tail number XA-SEL, and was approaching Monterrey's airport. It had made a continuous descent in the last 5 minutes before impact. The pilot turned left instead of right once the aircraft passed over the Monterrey VOR, apparently not knowing his exact position at the time.
On September 21, 1969, another Mexicana Boeing 727-64, with tail number XA-SEJ, crashed short of the runway 23L at Mexico City International Airport. Of the 118 people on board, 27 died. The aircraft had been cleared for an ILS approach when it suddenly lost altitude and hit the ground. After becoming airborne once again, the plane crashed into a railway embankment. At the time of the impact, the aircraft was in a normal landing configuration. Since the flight data recorder had been installed improperly two days before and there was no cockpit voice recorder, the cause of the crash couldn't be established.
On March 31, 1986, Flight 940 crashed in Las Mesas; near Maravatio, Michoacan. All 167 people on board the Boeing 727-264 were killed, making it the worst plane crash in the country's history and the worst ever to have involved this type of aircraft. After reaching an altitude of 31,000 feet, a tire in the left main landing gear burst and crippled the plane's controls, causing an in-flight fire and an explosive decompression in the process. It was found that the tire had been filled with air rather than nitrogen, leading to a chemical explosion within the tire itself.