Aeromar will join ALTA as it celebrates its 25th anniversary as Mexico's oldest continuously operated airline.

"I see it as a formalisation of a transformation of the airline from more of a small regional carrier to a more formal presence in the market," says Fabricio Cojuc Wolfowitz, vice-president of network planning and corporate development of the airline, on the sidelines of the ALTA Airline Leader 2012 conference in Panama City.

"If you belong to ALTA, that means you're certified as a leading operator in the region," he says.

Mexico City-based Aeromar aims to learn from the best practices of other ALTA members, take advantage of the group's lobbying arm to push for a "friendlier" operating environment in Mexico and participate in its various conferences and working groups, says Wolfowitz.

The airline is in the midst of a slow but rational transformation. It announced an order for two 68-seat ATR 72-600s earlier in November, which will replace older and smaller ATR 42-300s, and added its first jets, two Bombardier CRJ200s, during the past year.

Wolfowitz says that Aeromar anticipates ordering more ATR 72s based on market demand.

Aeromar is also diversifying its route network in the face of increasing competition. While it will continue to fly its "bread-and-butter" secondary business routes out of Mexico City, it is looking at opportunities to fly to southern Texas and to build on its existing codeshare with United Airlines, says Wolfowitz.

"Being rational is the key to survival in Mexico," he notes.

Source: Flight Daily News