August 16, 2012
Mexican carrier Interjet is seeking U.S. approval to operate six routes, continuing its strategy of building its U.S. network while Mexicana de Aviacion remains grounded.
Interjet has asked the U.S. Transportation Department for authority to fly between John Wayne International Airport, Calif., and Mexico City, San Jose del Cabo and Guadalajara. It also is seeking permission to fly from Toluca, Mexico City’s secondary airport, to Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago.
The airline is requesting expedited approval for the Mexico City, Guadalajara and San Jose del Cabo routes, as the airline plans to begin operations on Sept. 14.
The low-fare carrier earlier this month began flying between Mexico City and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, but only on a temporary authority that requires the route be handed back to Mexicana if it resumes the service.
At the time, Interjet CEO Jose Luis Garza Alvarez told Aviation Week he thought Mexicana’s return to service was “unlikely,” but accepted that Interjet was taking a “calculated risk” in applying for a route that it may have to abandon should its competitor reclaim the authority.
However, Garza said Interjet would expand its network to the U.S., and it would hedge the calculated risk of Mexicana’s routes by applying for routes either at secondary airports or from destinations Mexicana did not serve.
The six new routes authorities are not assigned to any Mexican carrier. Meanwhile, Mexicana still says it intends to resume operations in September, even though the Transportation Ministry has not issued the carrier its air operator certificate (AOC), a source close to the airline tells Aviation Week. Resumption of service is contingent upon receipt of the AOC as well as the conclusion of talks with the company’s two largest creditors, Banorte and Bancomext. Despite months of negotiations with the two creditors, no resolution is imminent, the source says.