Boeing Capital and Grupo Mexicana today announced they have entered a lease agreement covering 25 Boeing 717-200s for use by the airline group’s MexicanaClick operation. Under the terms of the contract, MexicanaClick will begin receiving the 717s from Boeing Capital later this month and launch service early next month, according to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes spokesman, making it the first North American 717 operator outside the U.S.
Boeing has also agreed to provide training for flight crew, cabin crew and maintenance staff, as well as spare parts provisioning through its Commercial Aviation Services group. Mexicana plans to replace the unit’s Fokker 100s with the 717s, most of which will come from Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines.
MexicanaClick plans to configure the airplanes to carry 104 leather seats–20 installed in the airline’s two-by-two Mexicana Elite class and 84 in standard five-abreast “tourist” class.
Midwest turned in 16 of the 25 Boeing 717s on lease from Boeing Capital last September. The Commercial Airplanes spokesman said schedules call for delivery of two airplanes in April, followed by at least one per month to the Mexico City-based airline until it exhausts the order. However, a Boeing Capital spokesman told AIN that it has yet to decide on a source for the final nine airplanes.
Mexicana will officially launch the latest phase of its three-year-old restructuring plan on March 15, when the first of a batch of 13 used Bombardier CRJ200s begins service from Guadalajara for regional subsidiary Mexicana Inter. The new unit assumes responsibility for many of the routes once flown by Alma de Mexico, the former low-fare CRJ operator that ended operations last November after slashing service during the summer and finally succumbing to the global economic crisis, fuel price increases and the devaluation of the Mexican peso.