Mexican president says in talks with Boeing to rent aircraft for military-run carrier

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attend a news conference, in Mexico City
Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a news conference where he condemned an apparent assassination attempt on a prominent news anchor and critic of the president, at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, December 16, 2022. REUTERS/Mexico's Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

MEXICO CITY, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Mexico is in talks with U.S. planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N) to rent aircraft for a carrier run by the military, set to start operations next year, the country's president said Monday.

"It's being looked at with Boeing," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a regular news conference. "Because planes are going to be rented. That's already being worked on."

A spokesperson for Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lopez Obrador has previously said that Olmeca-Maya-Mexica, a military-run business, will lead the airline, which aims to operate under the name "Mexicana," absorbing the operations of an airline which was declared bankrupt in 2014.

The business will also run airports in the southern region of Mexico in Tulum, Chetumal, Palenque and Campeche, Lopez Obrador said earlier this month, as well as the new airport on the outskirts of Mexico City, the Felipe Angeles International Airport.

Lopez Obrador added he had received an appraisal for the airline over the weekend but had not yet reviewed it.

The push to operate the military-run airline comes as part of the president's dissatisfaction with Mexican airlines. On Thursday, Lopez Obrador filed a reform to Mexico's aviation law which would allow "cabotage," or permitting international airlines to operate domestic flights within the country.

Transportation groups widely denounced the move, saying foreign airlines would snatch up more profitable routes and leave national carriers with routes "offered by the government."

The Mexican government has in recent months moved flights from Mexico City's main airport to the Felipe Angeles airport, one of Lopez Obrador's flagship projects.

Lopez Obrador hinted Monday that more moves could come.

Reporting by Kylie Madry; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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