Grupo Aeromexico, the parent company of Mexico’s legacy carrier, says the airline’s position during the fourth quarter of 2021 continued to improve, despite Omicron-variant-related cancellations.

Total revenue at the Mexico City-based carrier reached Ps.15.4 billion ($755 million), 16% over the third quarter of 2021, and more than double the figure for the same quarter in 2020. Still, that revenue was about 11% lower than in the same quarter in pre-pandemic 2019. 

The company posted a loss of Ps.9.5 billion for the three months that ended in December, slightly less than the Ps.9.7 billion it lost in the last three months of 2020. 

For the full year, the company’s loss was Ps.18.8 billion, down from Ps.28.5 billion in 2020.

Aeromexico Boeing 737 Max 8

Source: Boeing

Aeromexico narrows full-year loss on its way to recovery

That said, the Mexican carrier is optimistic that more passengers will return in 2022.

“In spite of the challenging environment, the market has shown signs of recovery,” Aeromexico says on 15 February. “The industry worldwide was negatively affected by the beginning of a new wave of Covid-19, Omicron, causing several flight cancellations during mid- to late December.”

“The company remains committed to safely expand flight service in the coming months, in line with local regulations and customer demand, in full compliance with the highest health standards and protocols,” it adds.

The airline’s capacity as measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) rose 5.8% from the previous quarter, with a 6% increase in international capacity and 5.5% in domestic. Total ASKs were at about 80.9% compared to the fourth quarter in 2019.

At the end of the fourth quarter 2021, the carrier had 133 aircraft, 11 more than at the end of the third quarter. All of the new aircraft are Boeing 737 Max 8s. That’s up from 131 at the end of 2019.

Late last month, a US bankruptcy court approved Aeromexico’s reorganisation plan, clearing the way for the airline to exit bankruptcy protection it voluntarily entered in mid-2020 as the coronavirus pandemic stripped it of customer demand.

A judge for the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York gave the green light on 28 January after a two-day hearing and following some creditors’ removing objections to the plan.

The carrier says it recognised restructuring costs of Ps.10.6 billion during the fourth quarter which include “accruals for recognition of certain creditors’ claims of Ps.10.9 billion, most of which will not represent cash outflows under the Chapter 11 exit plan to be completed during the first quarter of 2022”.

“Claims are primarily related to fleet leases, loans, financing and union agreements,” Aeromexico says.

Aeromexico is the second of three Latin American airlines to have its restructuring plans approved following their bankruptcy declarations at the beginning of the crisis resulting from the global health pandemic.

Bogota-based Avianca emerged from bankruptcy protection earlier this year, and Chile’s LATAM Airlines Group is still awaiting court approval of its plan.