Aeromexico maintains fleet plan despite pullback in region

Mexico City
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Aeromexico is maintaining its capacity and fleet plan for 2013, despite other Latin American carriers scaling back expansion in the recent month due to slower than expected growth in the region.

"So far we are good with the plan we have for our fleet and our orders," Aeromexico chief executive Andres Conesa tells Flightglobal. "If things don't turn out to be strong, we will adjust and we will continue to provide positive returns to our shareholders."

Conesa, speaking at the sidelines of the airline's unveiling of its first Boeing 787, adds that the carrier has the flexibility to reduce capacity if needed by not extending leases.

"We are very cautious in terms of being sensitive to the business cycle," he says.

Aeromexico's counterparts in the rest of the Latin American region have pointed to weaker macroeconomic conditions behind recent moves to pull back growth.

Latin American airline group LATAM announced yesterday it would reduce aircraft deliveries in the next two years due to depreciated currencies and higher volatility. It will take 22 fewer aircraft from 2013 to 2015.

Earlier this week, Brazilian carrier Azul withdrew its plans to launch an initial public offering, citing unfavourable market conditions.

For its part, Aeromexico has said it is keeping a close watch on domestic capacity for the rest of 2013 as it expects pressure on domestic yields to continue. Domestic yields declined 3% in the second quarter while domestic capacity fell 1.8% during the period.

The airline expects systemwide capacity to grow by about 4.5% in 2013 but has said most of this will go towards the international market.

Aeromexico will phase out 12 aircraft in 2013 and add 11 to end the year with 115 in-service aircraft.