UPDATE. The Mexican Secretariat of National Defense decided that FAMEX will take place, despite Queretaro’s cancellation of the event. FAMEX will take place at the Santa Lucía Military Base where the Mexican Government is currently building the new airport for Mexico City.
The Mexican Aerospace Fair is canceled, again. Yesterday, the authorities of the Queretaro State in Mexico announced that they have decided to cancel the Mexican Aerospace Fair (also known as FAMEX) for the second time in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mexican Aerospace Fair in a nutshell
The Mexico Aerospace Fair is an event organized by the Secretariat of National Defense through the Mexican Air Force. It began in 2015 as an initiative to promote Mexico in the economic development of the national aeronautical sector.
FAMEX had quickly become one of the flagship events in Latin America and worldwide. FAMEX’s first edition in 2015 had the participation of 240 aeronautical companies from 16 countries. A total of 32 aircraft were on display, and there was an attendance of around 32,000 visitors.
By 2019, during the third edition, FAMEX had the participation of 635 companies from 39 countries. Over 60 aircraft were on display, including some favorites from the avgeek community like Aeromexico’s Quetzalcoatl Boeing 787 Dreamliner and one of Canada’s CC-177 Globemasters. There was an attendance of 52,000 visitors and had Canada as Partner Country.
FAMEX was held at the Santa Lucía Military Base, north of Mexico City, during the first three editions. Nevertheless, following Mexico’s decision to scrap the construction of the new Mexico City International Airport and instead reconfigure Santa Lucía as a military/commercial hub, FAMEX had to look for a new home.
Why, oh why?
The decision was made to hold FAMEX 2021 in the Mexican city of Querétaro. It was a good choice. Queretaro is Mexico’s main hub for the aerospace industry. It has more than 85 companies specialized in the sector. Multinational enterprises such as Airbus, Safran, Bombardier, Aernnova, and General Electric have manufacturing plants in the State.
The Secretariat of National Defense chose to use the Intercontinental Queretaro Airport for FAMEX 2021. The Fair was initially supposed to take place between April 21 and 24. The Partner Country was the United States of America, a choice that was supposed to make FAMEX 2021 a sounding success.
The Mexican government then pushed back FAMEX due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The new date was set between September 22 and 25. But now, that has changed again, and, so far, there has been no announcement as to when FAMEX will take place.
Other Mexican news
The ceased Mexican airline Interjet is looking at a bankruptcy process that would allow it to continue flying. According to local media reports, the airline is close to having a business plan that could lead to a comeback in 2022.
Interjet has around US$1.25 billion in debt with several parties, including its former employees. According to Bloomberg, the plan, outlined by Interjet and its advisory firm Argoss Partners, looks for debt forgiveness of over 90%.
The airline also looks to agree with a partial payment to workers, have some possible new aircraft leases, a new management team, and bring new investors.
Nevertheless, the road towards seeing Interjet back in the sky again is a tricky one. I believe Interjet won’t ever come back.
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.