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An SSJ100 at DFW (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Interjet Now Only Operating Sukhoi Jets to 14 Domestic Destinations

Mexican carrier Interjet will only fly 14 domestic routes from its Mexico City hub when it restarts more services beginning June 16, all of which will be operated by the airline’s Sukhoi SuperJet 100-95B jets.

In May, the airline only operated flights to six domestic destinations — Cancún, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta and Mérida — from México City. According to FlightRadar24, these services were also all operated by SSJ100s.

Specifically, the airline is resuming operations to eight more destinations from México City until June 30, including Veracruz, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Chetumal, Ciudad del Carmen, Villahermosa, Acapulco, Mazatlán and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. According to the airline, Interjet will still continue to offer the first flight change for any reservation for free through its website or call center.

Interjet is an international low-cost carrier and Mexico’s third-largest airline after Aeroméxico and Volaris. The México City-based carrier first suspended all of its international services on March 31, including from Mexico to the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Border closures in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the drop in travel demand from the pandemic, eventually led to the airline operating only six routes by the end of May 2020. Furthermore, the airline is facing evident financial difficulties, being unable to pay off taxes dating back to 2013. The airline was partially suspended from the International Air Transport Association in April due to a lack of payment. The ongoing pandemic no doubt plays a role in Interjet’s difficulties, but it denies rumors it is pursuing Mexican bankruptcy proceedings.

The airline adjusted its network since March when Mexico declared a national “sanitary emergency.” At the beginning of the year, the airline was operating scheduled passenger flights to 42 destinations within México and 45 international destinations in the Americas.

Interjet’s SSJ100 jets are capable of flying medium and short-haul routes up to 1,895 miles, making it possible to cover many domestic destinations from Mexico City, including as far as Tijuana in Baja California, its longest domestic route. However due to the high altitude of Mexico City and its airport, the range of operation diminishes for the jet, and therefore, the airline can not use it to operate its international flights or even its longer domestic routes, such as flights to Tijuana.

At the beginning of the year, the airline operated a fleet of 66 Airbus A320 and A321neo jets. However, as a result of the pandemic and previously existing financial difficulties, the airline now holds only six A320s and one A321neo.

Its remaining seven Airbus jets have been parked since the beginning of April, and its current services are now being operated by its three active Sukhoi SSJ100 jets. Although the airline possesses 22 SSJ100s, 19 of them have remained parked for more than 20 months due to out of service engines and a lack of spare parts.

According to IBA, a leading aviation consulting firm, at least 27 Airbus A320ceo and A321neo jets were repossessed from Interjet by various lessors between March 24 and April 1. A further 20 or more aircraft were also either repossessed or returned to lessors from April 2. Interjet, however, has denied some of these claims insisting that the terms of the leases were “abusive.”

Albert Kuan
Albert Kuan
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