Mexico’s Interjet seems to be hanging on by a thread, if that, at this point. Yesterday I wrote about how Interjet canceled flight two days in a row, and now there’s a further update.
Interjet canceled all flights two days in a row
Interjet canceled all of its flights on November 1 & 2, though as of yesterday afternoon claimed that it would resume flights as of today (November 3).
On its website announcing the cancelations, Interjet acknowledged that coronavirus had impacted the company’s cash flow. Additionally, the company claimed that some of its planes needed to enter maintenance, which caused changes to flight schedules.
However, it’s the “cash flow” issue that seemed to be the primary reason for cancelations, and that was related to the company’s inability to pay for fuel.
Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA), which is the government-owned company that manages Mexico’s airports, claimed that Interjet didn’t make its payments for jet fuel, which is why flights had been canceled.
Interjet has to pre-pay for fuel, making it even more questionable whether the airline will be able to restart operations with any scale.
Even if the airline can scrape together enough money to pay for fuel for a few flights, that doesn’t bode well for the airline having a reliable schedule going forward.
Interjet has now gone silent
Interjet was supposed to resume operations as of today (November 3), so how did that go? Well, in some ways good, in some ways not good.
First of all, the airline has gone silent. Interjet’s website is down — when you visit interjet.com it redirects to interjet.com/sorry, which still doesn’t actually bring you anywhere. Meanwhile the airline also hasn’t posted anything to social media.
However, the airline did operate a grand total of two one-way flights so far today. It’s not entirely clear if the flights had passengers or what was going on. However, a plane with the registration code XA-JBA flew from Mexico City to Guadalajara, and a plane with the registration code XA-VER flew from Guadalajara to Mexico City. However, that’s it, and that’s all that seems to be on the schedule for today, even though the airline has lots more stranded passengers.
The head of Mexico’s Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office is today issuing an alert against Interjet, essentially warning consumers about the risk of doing business with the airline. It’s estimated that the airline left around 3,000 people stranded due to roughly 50 flight cancelations, and those cancelations are still piling up.
Interjet barely has any planes left
At the beginning of the year, Interjet had a fleet of 88 aircraft, including 66 A320-family aircraft (including some new A320neo and A321neo aircraft), and 22 Sukhoi Superjet 100s.
What has made Interjet’s fleet unique among North American airlines is its Russian-built Sukhoi Superjet 100s, which is one reason I’ve really wanted to fly with Interjet.
That brings us to Interjet’s current fleet situation:
- For a couple of years now Interjet has been trying to get rid of its Sukhoi Superjets and move to an all-Airbus fleet, as the airline was having reliability issues with these planes
- In recent months Interjet has returned a vast majority of its Airbus aircraft to leasing companies, meaning a majority of the company’s fleet consists of Sukhoi Superjets
- While the airline had 22 Sukhoi Superjets, a majority of them haven’t flown in a couple of years, due to reliability issues
- Interjet is now exclusively operating a fleet of six Sukhoi Superjets
I don’t want to be a pessimist, but the airline can’t pay for fuel, has gone silent, got rid of most of its Airbus aircraft, and is flying six Sukhoi Superjets it has been looking to get rid of for years. Never mind the fact that Interjet owes over $100 million in back taxes.
It’s hard to think that this isn’t the end of Interjet…
Interjet has returned most of its Airbus planes to leasing companies
Interjet canceled all of its flights on Sunday and Monday, and has gone silent today. While the airline operated two flights this morning, that’s only a small fraction of what it was supposed to operate. Furthermore, with a new warning from the government about doing business with Interjet, that can’t be good for future bookings.
Add in the fact that most of the fleet has been returned to leasing companies and Interjet was in a terrible financial situation even before the pandemic, and I can’t help but wonder if this is the end of Interjet.
That’s a shame, because I’ve heard great things about the airline, with many suggesting it’s like Mexico’s JetBlue.
What do you make of Interjet’s situation?