Boeing Capital has confirmed a lease deal with Mexicana covering 25 Boeing 717s.

Air Transport Intelligence first reported in January that Mexicana was negotiating to lease 25 717s for its low-cost unit Click. Late last month ATI reported the deal was nearly complete, and Boeing Capital was already preparing to deliver Grupo Mexicana the first 717 on 20 March while Click had already begun training the first batch of 717 pilots ahead of a planned 1 April launch of revenue services.

Boeing Capital, which previously declined to comment on the deal, today in a statement announced it has forged a "multi-year" lease agreement with Mexicana. It says deliveries will begin this month.

Boeing confirms Mexicana will use the aircraft to replace the 25 Fokker 100s now operated by Click and they will be configured with 84 economy and 20 business class seats. ATI reported last month that Mexicana had opted for a two-class configuration although Click's current fleet consist of 100 seats in all-economy configuration.

Click becomes the first 717 operator in Latin America. "We're pleased to join forces with Mexicana to bring the 717 to the region," says Boeing Capital VP for structured financing Tim Myers.

Boeing Capital, which is the world's largest lessor of 717s, does not say in the statement where the aircraft are coming from. But Mexicana previously indicated its first 16 717s were the aircraft returned to Boeing Capital late last year by Midwest Airlines while the source of the final nine will be determined later.

Once Click takes all 25 aircraft it will be the second largest 717 operator after AirTran Airways.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news