A couple of days ago, Interjet’s new management had a meeting with its pilots. During the gathering, Carlos del Valle, new executive director of the Mexican low-cost airline, promised several things, like a new Airbus fleet before the year ends. But he also pointed out to the financial arrears the company has. Let’s investigate the latest developments in Interjet.
A new Airbus fleet – how?
Mexican aviation website A21 broke the news first. Carlos del Valle said that Interjet would resume its Airbus operations in the next three months. As you may recall, the airline had a fleet of 66 Airbus airplanes and 22 Sukhoi Superjet when the year started. It only used the Airbuses, though, as it was phasing out the Russian-built planes.
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Since then, the leasing companies have repossessed every Airbus plane Interjet had. As of October, 75% of those planes have new registrations, meaning they won’t return to Interjet. So, if the Mexican carrier wants to operate with Airbus, it has to ink some new leasing deals.
Del Valle promised that, in October, Interjet would receive four new Airbus A320 family planes. In November, ten planes would arrive, and it would end the year with a new fleet of 17 Airbus aircraft.
At the same time, he pointed out that the Sukhoi Superjet fleet will not grow. This means that the negotiating deals with Irkut may have stopped. We contacted Irkut about this subject, but we have not received any response so far. We’ll keep you updated if that changes.
But that’s not all. Del Valle also promised to have, in the future, a fleet of as many as 120 Airbus aircraft. However, he said that it depended on Mexican aviation’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Despite the promises, one issue remains: where is the money coming from? Del Valle also shed some light on that subject.
The US$150 million investment is off the books, for now
In July, Interjet announced it had secured US150 million in new investments. The money came from the Del Valle family, as well as other investors. The airline said it would use the money for financial reorganization, as the COVID-19 crisis deepened in Mexico.
Nevertheless, almost three months since the announcement and Interjet hasn’t received the investment. Carlos del Valle said that the US$150 million could grow up to US$200 million but that Interjet first had to settle some financial debts it has with several third parties.
For instance, some of the sources present at the meeting with Del Vale said that the airline still has debts with the Mexican Government. That’s why the money hasn’t found its way into the company, because the minute it does, the Mexican Government could seize it.
Once again, despite the possible US$200 million in capitalization, Interjet still needs much more money to make its future fleet plans work.
Interjet’s latest issues: its website, annoyed clients, and problems with Aeromar
In August, seven out of the eight domestic airlines in Mexico increased the number of domestic passengers they transported. The only one that decreased was Interjet. Not by that much, though, as it only carried 74 passengers less, but operated 225 more flights. Interjet flew more but took fewer people.
The decrease may show that Interjet’s clients are losing patience with the carrier. It is not uncommon on social media to see people questioning the airline about canceled flights and unuseful vouchers.
At the same time, Interjet recently signed a codeshare agreement and a wet lease contract with Aeromar. Over the course of ten days, Aeromar operated flights from Interjet, using its ATR fleet to fly from Mexico City to Tijuana, for example. Then, all of a sudden, it stopped. Why?
The Pilots Association of Mexico, or ASPA, which represents Aeromar’s pilots, said Interjet never paid the wet lease agreement to Aeromar. The contract is still valid for the next year, but until both parties settle on a payment, Aeromar won’t wet lease for Interjet.
Finally, between Wednesday and Thursday, Interjet’s website was down. The airline said it was due to a server migration.
Do you expect to see a new Airbus fleet with Interjet? Let us know in the comments.