Aeromexico has rejected US Export-Import Bank funding for 15 new Boeing 737-700s and has sealed a mix of operating lease deals with International Lease Finance (ILFC) and Lombard Aviation Capital.

After selecting the 737-700 to replace its McDonnell Douglas DC-9s last year, Aeromexico tentatively ordered 15 US Exim Bank-financed 737-700s, with deliveries from August 2003 until December 2004. But the deal was dropped in favour of a direct order with Boeing for 11 737-700s placed last December, with 33 options. Lombard will purchase and lease back six of the aircraft, for delivery from October. ILFC is purchasing and leasing back the other five, with deliveries from November. Aeromexico has also signed a lease deal with ILFC for four 737-700s.

"Our board didn't authorise Aeromexico to finance the aircraft via the Exim bank," says fleet director Francisco Vosch, adding the board did not want the liability of owned aircraft given the expected sale of the carrier. Vosch will begin evaluating options next year for replacement of its 42 Boeing MD-80s.

The carrier is returning two of its 11 MD-82s this year, but is adding three MD-87s. Aeromexico plans to continue operating MD-80s until at least 2008.

Source: Flight International