The budget airline Interjet canceled all its flights on Sunday and Monday, apparently because it was unable to pay for fuel for its planes.
The airline, which has a large tax debt and is reportedly in a precarious financial situation, announced the cancellation Sunday morning on social media.
Interjet said that all affected passengers are “protected” and that canceled flights will be rescheduled starting Tuesday.
The airline acknowledged that the airline industry has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, adding that its cash flow had taken a hit.
“Additionally, some of the company’s aircraft are undergoing maintenance tasks, which has caused a reorganization of flight itineraries. … Interjet regrets the inconveniences caused to passengers and reports that 90% of them have been notified of this situation. … The airline will resume regular operations on Tuesday, November 3.”
Following the announcement, Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA), a federal government corporation responsible for the management, operation and development of airports, told the newspaper Milenio that Interjet had not paid for fuel for its fleet in advance and as a result its planes’ tanks were not filled.
“Interjet didn’t complete the payment for the purchase of jet fuel and for that reason fuel wasn’t supplied for its flights today,” ASA said.
It explained that the airlines has a pre-payment arrangement that requires it to pay for fuel one day in advance.
The newspaper El Sol de México reported that some affected passengers made their way to the Mexico City airport to complain about the cancellation of their flights and demand a refund.
Irene Ceballos, whose flight to Cancún was canceled, said that she would never fly with Interjet again.
“It was a mistake to buy a ticket with them because I knew that it’s on the verge of bankruptcy and has problems due to the pandemic,” she said.
Miguel Fernández, whose return flight to Monterrey was canceled, told El Sol de México that he had no option but to wait for a rescheduled flight because he didn’t have the money to buy another one with a different airline.
“At least they had the decency to let us know [about the cancellations],” he said.
However, another passenger said that she wasn’t personally contacted by Interjet and found out about her flight’s cancellation through the media. Andrea Lozada said that she asked for a refund but was told that wasn’t an option.
She said that she planned to file a complaint against Interjet with the consumer protection agency Profeco.
“It’s not the first time that [a cancellation] has happened to me. In March, when the closure of borders was announced, they changed a flight from Canada,” Lozada said, adding that she hasn’t received any financial compensation from the airline.