Situation ‘critical’ as Mexicana reduces schedule

Mexican airline Mexicana has cancelled some of its US operations and is considering filing for bankruptcy protection.

The carrier’s financial situation was described as critical following an emergency meeting with investors on Monday.

Following the meeting Mexicana announced the cancellation of four daily services between Los Angeles and Mexico City out of the 15 scheduled. It said passengers would be rebooked on other flights.

A spokesman said: “The company is analysing all options and resources.” Flights between Gatwick and Mexico City are unaffected.

The investors’ meeting came after two Air Canada aircraft leased to Mexicana were impounded in Canada on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Mexican government’s ministry of transport said the airline would not go bankrupt “at this time”.

Mexicana flies four times a week between Gatwick and Mexico City and offers a substantial network across Mexico as well as to the US, Canada and Central and South America.

It is the country’s biggest airline and a member of the OneWorld alliance alongside British Airways. Mexicana carried 11 million passengers last year.

The airline has been in trouble for more than a year after losing half its revenue during the swine-flu outbreak in Mexico in spring 2009.

The problems have been compounded by the US regulator downgrading the aviation safety rating of Mexico – barring the country’s carriers from expanding services in the US.

Proposals to cut Mexicana pilots’ pay by 40% triggered protests at the weekend, with unions appealing to the government to intervene.

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