A brief “back-in-time” on Mexico’s Pride
Aeromexico (Aerovías de México, S.A.) is the flag carrier of one of the most iconic and beautiful countries in the world, Mexico. This historic airline was established in 1934 as Aeronaves de México, flying from the country’s capital city to Acapulco. By then, 25% of it was owned by PanAm, allowing the airline to grow through the next couple decades by adding the Douglas DC-3 and DC-4 to their fleet. In the 1950’s, they took over several small competitors in the region and began operating transatlantic flights to Madrid and Paris with new DC-6 and Bristol Britannias aircraft.
After being nationalized the carrier purchased a pair of Douglas DC-8s and leased a few Comet-4Cs to enhance their European routes. In the 1970’s, however, a new government measure in Mexico nationalized all its domestic carriers, integrating the entire air transport industry under Aeronaves de México.
In 1972, the large “merger” brought with it a new corporate identity and subsequent orange/black livery on all its aircraft. The name of the airline changed to what it is today, Aeroméxico.
In 1974, Aeromexico received its first DC-10-30, as part of being one of the launch customers of this aircraft type. In addition, seven DC-9-32 aircraft were also delivered to the carrier. Today, Aeromexico, and its division Aeromexico Connect, have 58 and 59 active aircraft, respectively. All the aircraft in the fleet wear the airline’s logo, which depicts the head of an Aztec eagle warrior.
The Aeromexico & Aeromexico Connect Fleet
- Boeing 737-700 – 28
- Boeing 737-800 – 19
- Boeing 767-200 – 4
- Boeing 767-300 – 2
- Boeing 777-200 – 4
- Boeing 787-8 – 1
- Embraer ERJ-145 – 35
- Embraer ERJ-170 – 3
- Embraer ERJ-175 – 2
- Embraer ERJ-190 – 19
Both airlines operate scheduled domestic and international services to North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Its main hub is in Mexico City International Airport (MEX/MMMX), with additional hubs in Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Hermosillo.
The experience: Background Information
Today’s aviation era, ruled by next-generation wide and narrow body airliners, has allowed us aviation fans to find it rather satisfying to jump on board “older” aircraft. Many, like the Boeing 767-200 I’m scheduled to fly today were as common as today’s A320s or 737s not that long ago. Most of us Avgeeks find hopping on the older jets like the legendary DC-10s or even its latter version, the MD-11, like visiting a flying museum.
Given that our skies today are overpopulated with modern airliners, finding the opportunity to fly on soon-to-be-gone metal birds can be a chore, thus making flying on one a much more appetizing experience. Speaking of, Aeromexio will soon be retiring its entire Boeing 767 fleet–soon to be replaced by th Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner–so flying their Boeing 767-200 is definitely a must-do if the opportunity appears.
To add an ever greater sense of urgency, Boeing announced dropping the 767-200ER from it’s pricing list, marking the end of the type. This trip gained more value with every minute that passed.
After a couple of days surfing the net for fares and itineraries for a quick trip to Guatemala from Caracas, I came across a shocking “767” remark on the “Aircraft Type” section on the GDS.
Normally Aeromexico (AM) operates the Mexico City – Caracas service with a daily Boeing 737-800. Therefore, having the wide-body scheduled for a Wednesday departure in the middle of September – not high season or holiday season for either country – was quite a big surprise and a rather unique opportunity to fly a medium-haul route on a wide-body airliner.
Following a thorough research, I learned AM deploys its B767-300s on long-haul / transatlantic routes. On the other hand, the current four B767-200s flying for the airline increased the likelihood of it being the airliner for my chosen flight. AM was never able to confirm what type it was, exactly. Both types have five rows in Business Class, so if one thought this could give it away, bad news!
Carrying on with the surprise lineup, an excellent discounted Business Class fare (code I) was available for a round-trip; surprisingly much cheaper than the remaining coach class fares (code Y). After a quick call to my travel agent, I booked a trip on the mysterious 767.