Despite significant 2020 losses and an ongoing bankruptcy proceeding, Grupo Aeromexico, the parent of Aeromexico, sees “encouraging signs of recovery”.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Mexico City-based airline’s revenue declined 58% year-on-year to Ps7.2 billion ($357 million), down from Ps17.2 billion during the same quarter in 2019, the carrier reports on 16 February.
Nevertheless, revenue was up more than 50% from the third quarter, Aeromexico says.
The company’s loss for the October-December period was Ps9.7 billion, bringing its full-year 2020 loss to Ps42.5 billion. That compares to a full-year 2019 loss of Ps2.4 billion pesos.
Still, the airline is confident it has turned the corner.
“The global airline industry continues facing unprecedented challenges due to substantial declines in demand for air transportation worldwide,” the carrier says. “In spite of the current challenging environment, the market showed encouraging signs of recovery.”
The airline’s fourth-quarter capacity increased 40% from the third quarter. Domestic capacity rose by 35% in the quarter.
Aeromexico ended 2020 with 106 operating aircraft. That number includes six Boeing 737 Max, the type which had been grounded for 20 months after two fatal accidents.
The Mexican airline was the second carrier, after Brazil’s Gol, to bring the type back into its schedule in December after design changes were approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators.
The carrier has reactivated five of these aircraft. According to Cirium fleets data, Aeromexico has 55 Max on order with Boeing.
In June, Aeromexico filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a US court. The company said the process would allow it to “strengthen its financial position and liquidity, protect and preserve its operations and assets, and implement necessary operational changes to address the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.
It became the third Latin American carrier to seek protection from creditors after the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing drop-off in passenger demand due to strict shelter-in-place orders across Latin America decimated the air transport industry during the first half of the year.
The airline has “reached significant milestones” in its bankruptcy proceedings in the past quarter, having received approvals for loans and disbursements, the airline says. Proceedings are “evolving in line with expectations” and Aeromexico reached new deals with several unions after terminating contracts in early January.
Chile’s LATAM Airlines and Colombia’s Avianca filed for bankruptcy in May after liquidity crises forced them to restructure debt.