After weeks of growing uncertainty about the future of bankrupt and grounded Oneworld carrier Mexicana, Mexican financial services group IXE has arisen as a potential new investor to relaunch the airline.
Last week, IXE president Enrique Castillo Sanchez declared that his group is "evaluating the possibility of acquiring a stake in Mexicana", in order to attract the interest of other investors in the carrier's relaunch.
After its bankruptcy, Mexicana was formally acquired by Tenedora K, an investment group which never materialised its initial commitment of injecting liquidity into the airline.
While Castillo does not discard using Tenedora K as a vehicle for IXE's investment, he sees his role in acting as an investment banker "attracting the interest of [new] investors [for Mexicana".
He also outlined his vision for the "new Mexicana", explaining the carrier would concentrate on its historic core market "where the brand is well known and appreciated", slashing flights to Europe and Southern South America, and leaving the airline with a "unified fleet" of its Airbus A320 family aircraft. This is in line with negotiations held earlier between Tenedora K and Mexicana's pilots and cabin crew unions, which pointed at reducing the airline's original production by up to 70%, using a single fleet of aircraft.
Prior to its grounding, Mexicana operated two Airbus A330s to London Gatwick and Madrid and four Boeing 767s to long haul destinations in South America.
On 4 October, IXE confirmed in a communication to the Mexican Stock Exchange BMV that it is "evaluating different possibilities of investment in Mexicana". However, it stresses that an investment is "far from being a certainty" since "finding a good solution for everybody involved is a big challenge".
IXE also points out that its own investment "would be a minor minority stake", seeing its role in attracting external investors.