TAESA (Transportes Aéreos Ejecutivos) itself began operations in 1988 as an executive jet operator but quickly expanded into scheduled operations. By 1992 it was Mexico's third largest airline and operated 22 Boeing aircraft as well as a large fleet of executive jets. It was a major competitor to the established dominance of Mexico's main two airline groups (Aeromexico and Mexicana) but unlike those two was unable to weather economic storms of the mid-90s. I have written about it previously in my article about deregulation of the Mexican airline market which can be found here.
TAESA was however just one stop in the career of this hardy Boeing 737-2T4 Advanced. She first flew on January 15, 1980 being construction number 22055 and line number 633. Delivered to GATX leasing she joined Air Florida as N54AF on January 28. Whilst with Air Florida she was sub-leased to Air Europe at least twice, the second time of which was for 6 months in 1982 when she gained the registration G-BJXM.
She was returned to Air Florida and returned to GATX on April 8, 1983 for onward lease to Wien Air Alaska, with the same registration, N54AF. Wien bought the aircraft in June 1987 and she was almost immediately leased to Midway Airlines as N705ML. Withdrawn around the time of Midway's collapse she was sold to CIT Leasing and served with Cayman Airways and then from June 1993 with Carnival Airlines.
It wasn't until November 1993 that she became XA-SLC with TAESA. This was just prior to the Mexican economy tanking and she lasted only two years with the Mexican airline which never fully recovered from the turmoil. This was far from the end of the aircraft's career however as she was leased to AirTran Airways in December 1995 as N467AT. After four further years she was still in demand as she joined the early years of Canadian low-cost airline Westjet (as C-GEWJ).
After more than another five years she was sold on and came into the hands of Indonesian private airline Batavia Air as PK-YTS in July 2005. They have proved to be her final operator as she has been stored at Jakarta with an engine missing since at least August 2010. So altogether her service career spans 30 years and at least ten separate operators. Its a nice history and not at all unusual in terms of its length and variety amongst these classic jets.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: