Boeing Co. said Monday that its financing segment agreed to lease 25 twin-engine 717 aircraft — the bulk of them formerly operated by Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines Inc. — to Mexicana Airlines operator Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion.
Boeing Capital Corp. said the Mexican airline’s Mexicanaclick operation will begin receiving the 717 model aircraft later this month.
The fuel-efficient 717 aircraft will be configured for the Mexican carrier to seat a maximum of 104 passengers, a Boeing spokesman said, with 20 roomier “elite” class seats and 84 in tourist class.
Last September, financially stressed Midwest turned in 16 of the 25 717s it had been leasing from Boeing Capital Corp., and according to a regulatory filing by Boeing, the Chicago aircraft maker received the right to ask Midwest to return the remaining nine aircraft under certain conditions.
Boeing’s spokesman confirmed today that 16 of the 25 jets headed to Mexicana are being “redeployed” after being returned from Midwest, but said the jet maker “hasn’t yet decided” where the remaining nine jets in the leasing accord will come from.
Boeing became the maker of the 717 when it acquired former rival McDonnell Douglass in the 1990s, and — although the jetliner is considered a well-designed aircraft and is popular with travelers — Boeing ended its production of the 717 a few years ago. About 155 of the jets are currently in flying condition, the spokesman said, but he declined to say how many are owned by Boeing Capital Corp., the jetmaker’s finance arm.