US Court Orders Interjet to Pay US$27.4 millionBy Antonio Gozain | Fri, 08/13/2021 - 15:23
Mexican airline Interjet has to pay US$27.4 million to the Bank of Utah, ordered a Judge from the New York’s Southern District Court. The US bank filed a lawsuit against Interjet back in May, following the airline’s incapability to pay for the rent of two Airbus A320 aircraft in October 2019.
Interjet signed the 12-year leasing contracts for both aircraft in 2017 but returned them in February 2020. Bank of Utah’s lawsuit demanded a payment for damage repair of US$83 million, according to Reforma. Jesse M. Furman, Judge from the New York’s Southern District Court, notified Interjet about the sentence this week.
Interjet faces another legal process in Chicago, where the O’Hare Airport filed a lawsuit against the airline for over US$2.5 million, reported Milenio. Interjet’s debt with the airport of Chicago concerns taxes and administrative fees owed since 2019. Despite the city’s insistence through 2020, the airline was unable to pay its debt.
Problems continue pilling up for Interjet, as the company owes $US1.25 billion to a variety of entities, including government institutions, such as the Navigation Services in Mexican Air Space (SENEAM), SAT and SCT, in rights of use of air space, taxes, jet fuel and customs. Interjet also owes its employees, which formally started a strike in January 2021, making December 11 the last day the airline operated a commercial flight.
Interjet filed for bankruptcy in May, reported MBN but three months later the company remains optimistic that its planes are going to fly again at an undetermined point. By law, employees have priority in the big list of Interjet’s creditors, reason that makes Carlos del Valle del Río, spokesman of Interjet, think of a possible end of strike in January 2022.
“(Interjet’s) focus is getting to January 2022 with a normalized scenario, without the strike and with the main obligations covered; that is the goal we still have,” he said in a press release.
Volaris, Aeroméxico, Viva Aerobus Take Advantage
Interjet’s difficult moments mean bigger opportunities for its competitors. Volaris, Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobus have taken advantage. The air routes Interjet used to cover are now being exploited by these three airlines, which continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volaris now holds the lead with 40.5 percent of domestic traffic and recently announced plans to hire 2,000 new employees and add 25 new aircraft to its fleet.
On the other hand, Aeroméxico is set to open its new Guadalajara-Madrid and Monterrey-Madrid routes on December 15 and 16, respectively, and will continue exploiting the Mexico-Spain big market.
Viva Aerobus thrives. During 2Q2021, the ultra-low-cost airline fully recovered in assigned seat miles (ASM) and passengers and even had growth over its 2019’s figures, reported MBN.