TAESA had come through the crisis of the mid-90s albeit with a large debt burden, modified ownership and a much older fleet of aircraft. Moving into 1998 TAESA had a bright new livery and began to take delivery of new aircraf too. If it could just capitalise on this then it still could be the standard bearer for competition in the Mexican market.
- 2 727-100
- 1 727-200
- 3 737-200
- 6 737-300
- 1 757-200
- 5 DC-9-14
- 1 DC-9-30
- 1 DC-10-30F
''Since Taesa considers safety to be the No. 1 priority, it will abide by this decision, gladly collaborating with authorities so that all these doubts can be cleared up,''
Above timetable image from the amazing http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/gd.htm
It didn't help the airline's cause that it was undergoing disputes with its flight attendants who had been trying to decertify their union and affiliate with a more aggresive one. After the Nov. 9 crash, Alejandra Barrales, the leader of the independent union, accused TAESA of filing deceptive maintenance logs about several of its aircraft to cover up what she called 'recurring mechanical problems'.
Whatever the truth of the maintenance irregularities the findings of the crash investigations do not mention any issues with the aircraft. Instead the crash was caused by pilot error. The crew didn't use the checklists prior to departure and in the dark climbout became spatially disoriented. The nose up attitude of the aircraft eventually led to a stall from which the crew were unable to recover. These findings came far too late for TAESA. Even if it had had the funds to fully restart operations its name had been irreperably damaged. TAESA's bankruptcy was confirmed in February 2000.
In the wake of its failure various other Mexican airlines, like Allegro and Aviacsa, filled the gap. However it wouldn't be until the true low cost revolution reached Mexico, with Interjet and Volaris, that real competition would return to the Mexican marketplace. TAESA was a pioneer of deregulation in Mexico and if not for events somewhat outside of its control it may still be flying today.
XA-TKN. Aviation Safety Network
1999. 18 Killed in Mexico Plane Crash. CBS News
1999. Mexico Grounds Entire Fleet Of Airline Involved in Crash. New York Times
Finbow. R. The Limits of Regionalism: NAFTA's Labour Accord