Air Transport World

Aloft with Aviacsa. (Mexican regional airline) (includes related article about other regional airlines in Mexico) (company profile)

MEXICO CITY-Even the severe air pollution of this city could not hide the golden Mayan chief emblazoned on the royal blue tail of Aviacsa's British Aerospace 146 as the aircraft moved into position for takeoff to Tuxtia Gutierrez, some 450 mi. away.

For nearly a year, Aviacsa has provided jet service daily from Mexico City to Tuxda Gutierrez and seven other cities in the Mexican southeast-cities that for so long had been virtually ignored by Mexico's big boys, Aeromexico and Mexicana. It is one of several regional airlines emerging in a country that admits finally that it needs better domestic-airline service. But Aviacsa is the first Mexican regional to operate regional-jet equipment from Day One. Aviacsa's two 146-200s formerly were operated by now-defunct Presidential Airways.

Capt. Raul Rivera Fernandez gently pulls back on the yoke and the aircraft escapes the yellow, noxious cloud that surrounds the city of 18 million people, one of the world's most populated.

This morning's load is respectable, about 70%. The aircraft is configured for 80 passengers in single-class service. On board is a mixture of tourists, anxious to visit the numerous Mayan ruins located not far from Tuxtla, Tuxtla residents returning from a weekend in Mexico City and business executives. The southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, of which Tuxtla is the capital, is rich in agricultural products such as bananas, pineapples and coffee.

For many businesses, Aviacsa has become a long-needed transportation lifeline.

Based in Mexico City, Aviacsa is a busy little airline with 190 employees. Daily utilization of the 2-plane fleet is around 10 hr. and the airline claims a dispatch reliability rate of around 97%, with average load factor hovering around 50-60%. The airline averages 16,000 passengers per month, not including charter flights.

Already, Aviacsa has growing pains. …

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