Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transport (SCT) has grounded Aerocalifornia for a second time in two years after the carrier accumulated debts of more than $24 million with the Mexican air traffic control authority and other public aviation services providers.

An SCT source says it is taking a tough stand with airlines accumulating debt with state agencies "because it distorts competition and would be some kind of illegal subsidy for inefficient carriers". The source warns other carriers could face similar orders soon unless their debts are paid, but he declined to identify the airlines

No Aerocalifornia spokesperson was immediately available for comment.

The Mexican DGAC (CAA) first grounded Aerocalifornia's fleet of McDonnell-Douglas DC-9 aircraft in April 2006 over safety concerns, but three months later allowed it to gradually resume operations after the airline corrected operational and maintenance shortcomings.

Mexico's fragmented airline industry has been hard hit by the fuel price crisis, forcing carriers to drop 44 routes in only a few weeks, according to a CAA source. Most market analysts expect Mexico to undergo a strong consolidation process, identifying Aeromexico, Mexicana, Volaris and Interjet as among the carriers best positioned airlines to lead the process.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International