Interjet announced Thursday that it is canceling all flights for the rest of the year but anonymous sources say the airline’s grounding might be longer.
Sources close to the airline told the newspaper El Financiero that the airline may never resume operations.
Interjet notified its employees that all flights starting tomorrow and through December 31 have been canceled and all operations will be shut down during that period.
The airline’s flights have already been grounded for several days and dozens of flights have been canceled over the past six weeks, largely because there has been no money to purchase fuel.
Interjet has been struggling to stay afloat financially amid the coronavirus pandemic’s steep decline in demand for air travel. But it has faced multiple other issues unique to the airline’s situation.
Employees are owed over three months of unpaid wages and benefits, which has led to public protests, and some employees have not bothered showing up for work. The airline owes nearly six months’ worth of social security employee contributions, US $131.3 million in unpaid fuel bills, and US $151.4 million in back taxes. In the last two months, the airline has also lost 95% of its fleet.
Meanwhile, businessmen Carlos Cabal Peniche and Alejandro del Valle were going to inject US $150 million of badly needed capital into the airline. But Cabal decided to pull out.
More recently, ex-employees have filed 50 claims against Interjet for unpaid severance amounting to 11 million pesos. Employees who were dismissed as far back as March say they have not been paid any of the money they are owed.
In addition, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suspended Interjet’s participation in its billing and settlement plan this week, which facilitates the sale and issuing of airline tickets through an IATA affiliated network of travel agents.
Last week, Interjet’s union asked the federal government to take over the airline, saying it is on the verge of bankruptcy and poses a risk to national security. The government declined the union’s request.
Source: El Financiero (sp)