The Aviary ("el Aviario") - the original virtual airline merger model
In 1993, institutional holders of Mexicana Airlines,
the oldest operating airline in the Americas, needed
an exit plan for their holding of what was then a seriously underperforming asset.
Domestic and transborder competition with AeroMexico (emerging from
bankruptcy), new entrant TAESA
and international carriers had taken a withering toll on earnings. Mexicana had significant new equipment
and information technology financing requirements, as did its national competitor.
Mexicana needed to be rehabilitated, but this was impossible without changes to the competitive environment.
Thus was born the concept of "the aviary", traditionally a facility where birds are nurtured back to health.
As opposed to engaging in a new round of funding under existing conditions,
we devised a plan to combine
the assets of the two carriers, create common information technology and distribution infrastructure,
coordinate networks and scheduling, but avoid the pitfalls of an operational merger and re-branding expense.
The "El Aviario" plan was presented to Grupo Falcon and lenders in
1993. The plan was realized when the
CINTRA holding company was formed to rationalize Mexicana and AeroMexico networks and operations.
We are pleased to have assisted in the effort to save one of the
oldest and most distinguished "birds".