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New military-run airline takes off in Mexico

A new military-run Mexican airline championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took to the skies on Tuesday promising lower fares than its main rivals. The launch of Mexicana de Aviacion comes after the government announced in August that it was buying the brand of the carrier that went bankrupt 13 years ago. Its main base is Mexico City’s second international airport, Felipe Angeles, from where it will serve more than a dozen domestic destinations. One of Lopez Obrador’s flagship projects, the new airport north of the capital has struggled to attract carriers since opening in March 2022. Mexicana’s first flight was to the Caribbean resort town of Tulum, where the government inaugurated a new airport at the start of December. “Mexicana de Aviacion is flying again. This is an emblematic, historic airline,” said Lopez Obrador said at his morning news conference. The airline is operated by the military-controlled group Olmeca-Maya-Mexica, which also runs other flagship government projects such as a new tourist train launched this month in southeastern Mexico. Announcing Mexicana’s revival in August, the government said that it was paying nearly $50 million to be shared among around 7,400 former employees of the carrier, which was founded in 1921 and collapsed in 2010. Since taking office in 2018, Lopez Obrador has given increased responsibility to the armed forces, in addition to their public security role, including control of ports and customs as well as major infrastructure projects.

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