Air Transport World

Privatization in Mexico revisited. (Mexican airlines)

, Mexico City-The case of former staterun airlines Aeromexico and Mexicana is analogous to that of twin brothers given the same opportunities to succeed after both have failed initially. Only one capitalizes on the opportunity, while the other continues to plod along, baffling the caring parents-in this instance the government, which privatized both carriers over two years ago.

Neither airline would grant an interview to ATW but a lot is known about Aeromexico, which sources paint as the model of privatization today, a company that has done a 180% turn financially with a third of the work force it once had. No longer can this carrier be referred to pejoratively as "Aeromaybe."

But it wasn't always the case. In 1988, after years of losses and charges of mismanagement and corruption, some felt the only way open for Aeromexico was liquidation; bankruptcy at the very least. During its halcyon years as a state-run airline, Aeromexico squandered nearly $3 billion in government subsidies. Its dispatch reliability and productivity were abysmal. A passenger was considered lucky if his baggage arrived with him.

At one time, Aeromexico was rated No. …

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