The Story of a Great Company
What began as a dream in 1934 has become a reality. Aeromexico is a leader in Latin America, a symbol of Mexican modernity. Thanks to a global vision focused on service and efficiency, the sky is the only limit. At Aeromexico, our dreams know no bounds.
“Aeronaves de México” (1934-1988)
- Antonio Diaz Lombardo created Aeronaves de Mexico. Julio Zinser made the inaugural flight from Mexico City to Acapulco on September 14, 1934, in the airline’s first plane, a Stinson SR.
- As a result of World War II, a scarcity of planes, parts and motors forced Don Antonio to seek a partner in the aeronautics field.
- On April 30, 1941, Aeronaves de Mexico sold a 25% share to Pan American.
- In 1955, the company had offices in 21 Mexican cities and two in the United States. The fleet was comprised of 15 planes (12 DC-3s, two DC-4s and a C-47 cargo plane). Soon, four Convair were added.
- Permits were obtained to fly the Mexico City-New York and Acapulco-Los Angeles routes in 1957. That same year, Mexican shareholders recovered the shares that had been sold to Pan American. Two years later, the federal government acquired the shares and assets of Aeronaves de Mexico by decree.
- By 1964, Aeronaves de Mexico employed 2,980 people and offered domestic flights to 32 cities and international flights to various cities in the United States, Europe, Canada and South America.
- The Mexico City-Acapulco route, the airline’s first, was now served by nine flights a day.
- The government launched an intense airport modernization effort from 1964 to 1970 and offered support for airlines to acquire equipment.
- The economic crisis of 1982 increased the dollar debts of the airline sector and made operations in this currency difficult. International passenger numbers dropped by 27% as domestic passenger numbers dropped by 7%.
- On April 15, 1988, Aeronaves de Mexico suffered a debilitating strike that led to bankruptcy and the suspension of operations. The audit commission run by Banobras contracted with a small group of former employees to operate a dozen flights. Six months after bankruptcy, the audit commission successfully completed its task and reinstated nearly all domestic flights.
The Birth of a Great Company (1988-1990)
- On October 1, 1988, Aerovias de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. was created, using the trading name Aeromexico and the emblem of the Eagle Warrior. The airline began operations with 25 planes and a workforce of 3,500 personnel. The company’s priorities were to consolidate business and meet standards of punctuality, trustworthiness and care in the use of its equipment, while offering quality services that would win the public’s trust. The slogan used in advertising, “With the best we can offer,” indicated the changes the company was experiencing.
- International flights were resumed in 1989 and the cargo company Aeromexpress was formed. During this period, punctuality and the quality of its services were the company’s best allies in the battle to gain an important position in the aviation market.
The Consolidation of Aeromexico (1991-1995)
- The Gulf War of 1991 impacted the company’s finances and by the end of 1992, growth had dramatically slowed due to financial problems. Alfonso Pasquel was named Chief Executive Officer in December. His first objective was to stabilize finances.
- With the severe financial crisis of 1994, Aeromexico faced the most serious challenge of its short history. Lending banks helped to restructure the company by renegotiating debt and injecting capital.
- Efforts in 1995 were geared toward streamlining processes to strengthen the quality of services and products and reformulating the company’s philosophy to adopt a business focus. Aeromexico proposed making its routes more productive and generating aggregated value for company shareholders, maximizing income, reducing operational costs and optimizing resources with an orientation toward results.
The Creation of CINTRA (1996)
- On June 28, 1996, the International Air Transport Corporation (CINTRA – acronym in Spanish) was formed as a holding company for the shares of various air transport companies, but mainly for Aeromexico and Mexicana. This helped to create competitive and geographical advantages and ensured that global markets could be served more efficiently.
- With CINTRA, Aeromexico formed part of a more competitive air transport system capable of competing with international carriers. This union reinforced participation in global markets and increased coverage through strategic alliances with other airlines.
- Intense activity was undertaken in 1997 to reorient the business and its growth, an effort summarized by the slogan, “We Are Building the Future Today.” This initiative served to integrate and unite company staff. It further demonstrated the will of the company to be a high performance organization, focused on service and with a deep commitment to quality. The company achieved the best results in its history during the first half of 1997.
- Aerovias de Mexico celebrated its first decade of existence in 1998 and redefined its business strategy by letting customers choose its path. The structuring of the company into three market segments—businesses, beaches and borders—allowed it to better respond to client needs and offer more competitive products. This philosophy distinguishes Aeromexico from its competitors.
- In 1999 the company philosophy was reviewed, leaving both the mission and vision intact. Long term goals were set and a business model devised that would allow the company to achieve global competitiveness, while maintaining its focus on the four strategic objectives: profitability, service, markets and development.
- In June 2000, Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air founded SkyTeam, a new global air alliance. This alliance—later joined by CSA Czech Airlines, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, KLM and Northwest Airlines—allows partners to compete at the global level and offer multiple benefits for customer satisfaction.
- In the same year, the Planning and Emergency Response Program was inaugurated, representing a major advance in an area that represented a permanent commitment for Aeromexico. The four business objectives became seven strategic priorities that serve to guide every action taken by the company.
- An optical reader system was incorporated in 2001, without causing delays in passenger documentation and saving the company millions. This same year, the Service Solutions Program was launched, allowing Aeromexico to increase effectiveness and satisfaction among employees and as a company.
- In 2002, Pope John Paul II chose Aeromexico for the third time when making his return flight to the Vatican after visiting Mexico.
- A 2002 advertising campaign was launched that proved to be the most significant in the industry for many years: “Travel Free for the Rest of Your Life.”
- The company celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2003 and inaugurated the Aeromexico Museum, enabling visitors to travel back in time.
- Another successful advertising campaign was launched in 2003: “Earned Vacations.”
- A fleet renovation program began in 2003 with the acquisition of Boeing B737 planes equipped with winglets, providing fuel savings of up to 4%. The new fleet of latest generation B737s reaffirmed Aeromexico’s position as a leader in the airline industry.
- Facing significant challenges in 2004, Aeromexico made a concerted effort to reinforce its business commitment and overcame countless adverse factors, many of which were unrelated to the airline industry. While the horizon was clouded for airlines throughout the world, the Eagle Warrior came through with flying colors.
- To reorganize routes and services and strengthen the presence of Aeromexico within the Mexico market, Aerolitoral started operations at the Mexico City International Airport.
- In 2005, Aeromexico became the first airline to offer convenient new services to customers, allowing them to use electronic tickets to document their flights and to obtain proof of purchase via Web check-in at aeromexico.com.
- Aeromexico took delivery of its largest aircraft, the Boeing 777-200ER, in 2006. With capacity for more than 270 passengers, this aircraft put Aeromexico on par with major European airlines flying the Mexico City-Madrid and Mexico City-Paris routes. In the same year, operation of the Air Maintenance Company (EMA – acronym in Spanish) program began.
- Aeromexico became the first Mexican airline to establish regular flights between Mexico and Japan by operating the Mexico City-Tijuana-Narita route.
- In 2007, flights to the Latin American destinations of Buenos Aires, Managua and San Pedro Sula were added to the schedule.
- Barcelona was also added to the Aeromexico network, solidifying the carrier’s leadership in flights to Spain.
- Aerolitoral changed its business name to Aeromexico Connect, better linking its efficient operation to the Eagle Warrior brand.
- At the same time, the company introduced Embraer 190 jets to the fleet, carrying 11 passengers in Clase Premier and 88 in Economy Class.
- China became the latest Aeromexico destination in 2008, with two weekly flights on the Mexico City-Tijuana-Shanghai route. The Aeromexico network was further expanded with the addition of flights to Italy, using the Mexico City-Monterrey-Rome route.
- Aeromexico Travel also began operations, offering charter flights.
- The 2009 renovation of aeromexico.com revealed new functionality, design and content, making it a point of reference in the industry. Through the site, Aeromexico continues its commitment to offer customers the latest services and improve their travel experience, even before take-off.