During 2020, 28 Airbus airplanes leased to Interjet have flown to the United States. AirFinance Journal reported that eight leasing companies have run out of patience with Interjet and are taking back their airplanes. What does this mean?
Interjet claims it is all fake news
Last week, we published that a total of eleven Interjet airplanes landed in Phoenix airport. Over recent days, this number has increased. By 31 March, 19 planes landed in Phoenix, Arizona; five in Chino, California; three in Tucson, Arizona and one in Roswell, New Mexico, according to stats on FlightRadar24.com.
“Basically, it’s a default situation. Interjet has not been very transparent. They’ve always been quite wishy-washy, saying we’re going to pay on this date or that date but when the date comes there’s still no payment so we’ve lost our patience with them,” said a lessor to AirFinance Journal.
But for Interjet this is all fake news. The company published a statement saying that there is an “intentional campaign that wants to mislead the flying public and the investors.”
At least one thing is true, according to the airline. Interjet is, indeed, returning some aircraft. But it is not because the leasing companies want them back. It says that the reason is that they are renegotiating the terms of the leasing contracts.
“We are taking the opportunity to renegotiate conditions, and we are exploring the option of returning aircraft that have contracts outside of the current market conditions,” Interjet said.
Which leasing companies are involved?
China’s ICBC Leasing was the last leasing company to get involved. The Chinese company repossessed two four-year-old A321s.
Previously, other leasing companies that repossessed other Interjet airplanes are Aviation Capital Group (ACG), Aircastle, GECAS, AerCap, Wings Capital, Magix Airlease and Zephyrus Aviation Capital.
We contacted every leasing company. Currently, only AerCap has responded, declining to comment on the subject. We’ll keep you updated if this changes.
GECAS took two 2019 A320neos; AerCap took three 2017’s A320neos and two 2010’s A320s; ACG repossessed four 2018’s A321neos; AirCastle took two 2000’s A320 and two 2008’s A320. Wings Capital reclaimed three 2017’s A321s and two 2012’s A320s while Magix Airlease repossessed a 2008 A320 and Zephyrus a 2006 A320.
AirFinance Journal also added that Interjet’s direct order with Airbus for 28 additional A320neos is questionable at the moment. This is because the airline could be in financial difficulty. In 2012, the airline had a cash position of over $200 million but, at the end of 2018, it only had $21 million left. And, since then, the company has only published one financial statement: 2019’s first quarter.
How’s Mexican airspace doing right now?
Interjet is one of the four main airlines that operate in Mexico. These four airlines, plus Aeromar (which is the fifth, although it transports far fewer passengers yearly, with just one million per year) benefit from the fact that Mexican airspace is still open.
But this is quickly changing. A few days ago, the Mexican government declared a sanitary emergency in the country which triggered more cancellations from Mexican airlines.
Volaris canceled 80% of its capacity for April. Grupo Aeromexico announced a reduction of 60% of its international operations and 50% of its domestic operations. Internationally, airlines such as British Airways also reduced flights to Mexico City to just three weekly, while stopping its flights to Cancun altogether.
On 1 April at 11:00 local time, less than 30 airplanes belonging to the top four (Volaris, Aeromexico, Interjet, and Viva) were in the air. Interjet had the fewest operations with just two flights while Volaris had the largest operation with 11.
So, what do you think? Is Interjet in trouble right now?