Interjet to place SSJ100s on domestic and international routes

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Interjet chief executive Jose Luis Garza says the airline has identified 80 city pairs that would not be profitable with its current fleet of larger Airbus A320 aircraft. The Mexican low-cost carrier hopes to use its new fleet of Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft to fly on these routes to bolster its regional network.

Garza says that after the first SSJ100 fleet starts arriving in March 2013, it will widen its mid-density route network with new hubs in Hermosillo or Tijuana and either Merida or Villahermosa, in addition to focusing on the key cities of Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City,

"We will create a very strong network connecting mid-cities - cities with mid-density traffic - to cities with the most important traffic, and then create very strong coverage in air transport, all around Mexico," says Garza.

The chief executive says that on each of Interjet's 150-seat A320 aircraft, the carrier needs to fill more than 110 seats to make each flight profitable. The 93-seat SSJ100s will open up Interjet's coverage to mid-density routes, which could include cities such as Aguascalientes, Durango, Leon, Nuevo Laredo, Manzanillo, San Luis Potosi, Torreon, and Minatitlan.

The SSJ100s will also complement higher-density routes that may have certain days or periods of the year with lower passenger activity. Garza says that the SSJ100s will also fly some international routes, which could include flights from Cancun to cities like Miami, Havana and San Jose and Costa Rica. Another possibility is adding a new leisure route from Phoenix, Arizona, to a holiday destination such as Los Cabos.

The carrier currently flies 41 routes to 31 destinations. Interjet plans to take delivery of its first of 20 Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft in March 2013.