Mexicana remains confident about re-launch despite delays

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Mexicana remains confident it will still be able to re-launch flights this month despite having failed to meet most of its self-imposed milestones.

While Mexicana confirms that it is "continuing its recertification programme as planned", a Mexican newspaper has reported that the Secretary of Communications and Transport (SCT) has rejected the reactivation of the carrier's license. According to the report, the SCT considered the investment plan presented by Mexicana's new controlling shareholder PC Capital as insufficient to sustain the airline's re-launch and to pay simultaneously the agreed labour debt of $61 million to its employees and $92 million in unpaid taxes.

The investment fund created by PC Capital claims to have commitments for over $200 million but its refusal to so far make public the names of the investors has sparked doubts about its real financial capability.

While no official Mexicana source was able to comment about the immediate future of the carrier, a source at the flight attendants union ASSA tells ATI that "despite some difficulties, the recertification process is almost completed" and that Mexicana's re-launch has been endorsed by Mexico's labour minister Javier Lozano.

"We have been told that the SCT will agree to the financial plan as soon as some final debt restructuring details have been worked out," she says, claiming that only some "formal corrections" must be made to "satisfy the requirements of the bankruptcy court".

She says that Mexicana completed this week its final recertification flight to San Antonio, suggesting this is a "clear indication" that scheduled services are "very, very close to being restarted".

Another grounded Mexican carrier, Aviacsa which ceased operations in 2009, also is aiming to re-launch flights this month. The carrier claims to have received an investment of $24 million from Grupo Madero and is preparing to resume operations with an initial fleet of three Boeing 737s.

Aviacsa exited bankruptcy administration in January. However, Aviacsa also still needs its operator's license to be reinstated by the SCT. The SCT is requiring both Mexicana and Aviacsa to fully prove their financial viability to avoid the resurgence of short-lived airlines, which can harm the local industry by fragmenting the market excessively and sparking fare wars in their quest for survival.