Mexican Airlines in DebtBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 02/17/2021 - 11:20
Mexico’s aviation industry has been one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the Mexican Airspace Navigation Services (SENEAM) agency reported that Mexican airlines have an MX$732 million (US$36.2 million ) debt regarding rights of airspace use of Mexican airspace. One of the airlines in question is Interjet, which has also been facing trials, complaints and accusations since 2019.
According to Forbes, the airlines “Aerovías de México” (Aeroméxico), “ABC Airlines” (Interjet), “Aeroenlaces Nacionales” (Viva Aerobus), “Concessionaire Vuela Compañía de Aviación” (Volaris), “Grupo Aéreo Monterrey” (Magnicharters) and “Transportes Aeromar” amounted a total debt of MX$506 million (US$25 million) in 2020, which adds to overdue payments of MX$226 million (US$11.2 million) from 2019.
The same article mentioned that given the sanitary restrictions and the current fear of moving from one place to another, resulted in a significant decrease in the demand for domestic and international flights. In a previous MBN article, it is also stated that airlines have been developing strategies to regain passenger confidence to prevent bankruptcies and mounting debt. However, rules keep changing, restrictions get tougher and people still do not want to travel. Mexico has faced new restrictions, specifically coming from Canada and the US. First, it was mandatory to present a COVID-19 test before boarding. Now, Canada suspended flights to Mexico, as previously reported by MBN.
Interjet is one of the airlines that has had the most problems before and during the pandemic. The latest information reveals that Interjet workers have gone on strike following overdue wage and benefits payments that go back months, reports Forbes. There was even a moment when the Mexican government was forced to ponder whether or not to take over the company, given workers’ multiple requests. However, President López Obrador announced that the government would not intervene given the amount of debt, saying the government cannot be held responsible for all Mexican companies at risk, according to a previous MBN article. Other airlines have pushed through despite the difficulties, however. Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobus expanded their routes while reporting growth in operational capacity, according to MBN.