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Weekly Roundups

Mexican Aviation Goes Up; Global Airlines Stall

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 17:56

Airlines struggle with their recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic as authorities order them to return the airport spots left unused because of the outbreak. Meanwhile, Interjet, which has paused operations for several months following a strike, is looking to renegotiate most of its billion-dollar debt.

In international news, Brazilian Embraer introduced a new turboprop that promises to provide a “jet-like experience,” while an aviation intelligence firm warned that the global recovery is stalling meaning airlines could lose billions.

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Mexican airline Interjet, which has been grounded for months following a strike, is trying to renegotiate up to 80 percent of its debt. The airline owes over US$1.25 billion to employees, lessors, service providers and national and international authorities. Last week, a judge from the New York’s Southern District Court ordered Interjet to pay US$27.4 million to the Bank of Utah. The decision came months after Interjet declared itself incapable of paying for the rent of two Airbus A320, which it had leased for 12 years in 2017 but returned in February 2020.

Mexican airlines are being ordered by the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) to return their unused slots, landing and takeoff schedules to airports in saturated conditions no later than September 7. The move was made in preparation to a potential increase in the number of flights during the winter season. To keep the airport slots, airlines must prove that they are using at least half of them. Before the pandemic, airlines had to operate 85 percent of their slots to avoid their requisition.

Mexico, Australia and Brazil recorded the largest increase in air passenger volume this July, reports consulting firm Bain & Company. If vaccination programs continue at the current pace, the trend could continue throughout the year, leading Mexico to surpass its pre-pandemic levels. Total air passenger traffic results in Mexico in July 2022 could be 89 percent higher than in July 2019, forecasts the firm.



Airlines across the globe could lose over US$48 billion during 2021 because capacity remains at around two-thirds of its normal levels, warns flight intelligence firm OGA. The sector continues having difficulties to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to keep dragging in airline capacity during the next two months.

Brazilian planemaker Embraer announced that its new turboprop aircraft will come to the market in 2025. The new, faster airplane, tentatively named E3, aims to revolutionize the market with lower operating costs and more space than competing turboprops in the market. It will feature a similar design to the ERJ140, with a long airframe, a rear engine and no winglets.