Mexicana has pushed back its ascension into the Oneworld alliance from May until October.

Earlier this year Mexicana began the process of planning a ceremony in Mexico City for May to mark its official entrance into Oneword. But a Mexicana spokesman says this ceremony has been postponed by five months, and the carrier is now planning to officially join the alliance in October.

October 2009 still meets the original deadline set by Oneworld last year when the alliance's board agreed to add Mexicana as its latest full member. Oneworld formally announced Mexicana as a member-elect in April 2008 at a ceremony in Los Angeles. At the time it said the joining process would take 12 to 18 months to complete.

While that gave Mexicana until October 2009 to formally join, the carrier was hoping to join earlier and complete the process in only 12 months. In November Mexicana said it was on pace to formally join in April, and in late February it said it was on pace to join in May.

But over the last couple of months Mexicana, which has been overhauling its IT systems in anticipation of joining Oneworld, decided it wasn't quite ready to formally join the alliance. The decision to delay was made prior to the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico.

A Oneworld spokesman was unavailable to comment.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news