Interjet to File for BankruptcyBy Sofía Hanna | Tue, 05/11/2021 - 19:43
Mexican airline Interjet is reorganizing its US$1.25 billion debt, as it prepares to restart operations this year. Carlos del Valle, Interjet’s spokesperson, indicated that the airline has been working with Argoss Partners during the past three months to achieve this goal. Interjet has faced several economic problems before the pandemic but it is now preparing to take off again.
Interjet is first preparing a settlement plan for Mexico's bankruptcy regulatory authority, the Federal Institute of Commercial Insolvency Specialists (IFECOM), according to A21. If approved, the plan will be forwarded to its creditors. The airline owes US$ 1.25 billion to numerous parties, including workers, creditors, landlords, service providers and the Tax Administration Service (SAT), among others. del Valle highlighted that the airline would keep in constant communication with the SCT, AFAC, the Ministry of Economy, SAT and the Federal Consumer Prosecutor's Office through the entire process. The airline also presented workers, who are owed back and unpaid wages, a plan to restart operations and kept them informed throughout the restructuring process.
Interjet’s unions, however, stated that "There has been no communication; the company has not had any contact with the union." Pablo Casas Lías, a lawyer specialized in aeronautic law, told A21 that under these circumstances SCT and the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC), must intervene in the tender to prevent a similar outcome to the one that happened with Mexicana de Aviación. "The time has come for the SCT and AFAC to comply with what the law mandates or we will see an unpunished bankruptcy fraud such as with Mexicana de Aviación, to the detriment of workers, creditors and passengers, among others," said Casas.
Interjet's assets had previously been seized by SAT as the airline failed to pay its income taxes and accumulated fines between 2017 and 2019, for a value of MX$2.9 billion (US$137.4 million), reported MBP. Other assets had been granted to its employees after the Federal Board of Conciliation and Arbitration (JFCA) determined that they must be auctioned and to pay back wages.
Late last year, the Bureau of Consumers’ Protection (PROFECO) warned that the airline was at the brink of bankruptcy and emitted alerts against the airline after numerous flight cancellations left thousands stranded, as reported by MBP.
Interjet is preparing to enter a process to sell its assets that must be approved by the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), which will verify that the appropriate requirements are met, mentions A21.