UPDATE 2-Aeromexico exits bankruptcy with a $5 bln investment plan, changes in its fleet

(Adds analyst comments on Aeromexico's bankruptcy exit and its fleet)

By Kylie Madry and Valentine Hilaire

MEXICO CITY, March 17 (Reuters) - Mexican airline Grupo Aeromexico said on Thursday that it has emerged from bankruptcy protection, adding it now plans to spend $5 billion over the next five years on fleet modernization and other upgrades.

The airline, which filed for bankruptcy after the pandemic sent demand plummeting, detailed plans to receive 22 more planes in 2022, bringing its total fleet of aircraft to 147 by the end of the year. The company last year signed a deal to buy 28 planes from Boeing Co, which it argued would result in $2 billion of savings.


The previously announced fleet upgrade could help reduce the company's fuel costs since Boeing 737 MAX cost 20% less than their predecessors to operate, said Rene Armas Maes, commercial vice president and aeronautical consultant at Jet Link International LLC.

Beyond upgrading its fleet, Aeromexico needs to implement technology that further reduces unit costs, so it can better compete with local low-cost carriers Volaris and Viva Aerobus, and its peers operating international routes, he said.

In a news release, the carrier said it will also restart some international routes it had halted during the pandemic, including to London, and open new ones. (Reporting by Noe Torres, Laura Gottesdiener and Valentine Hilaire; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Anthony Esposito, Tim Ahmann and Bernard Orr)