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Amid Lawsuit, Interjet Faces Grim Future
After the Mexican low-cost carrier (LCC) Interjet announced that it will not be operating any flights from Dec. 18, the bad news keeps coming for the airline. As announced, Interjet doesn’t have the funds to pay for jet fuel and its employees are now owed over three months of unpaid wages and benefits. At present, the airline owes nearly six months’ worth of social security employee contributions, $131.3 million in unpaid fuel bills and $151.4 million in unpaid taxes.
So far, 57 of the 63 Airbus aircraft that Interjet had in its fleet in March 2020 have changed registration. Currently, only five remain with Mexican registration, including one that continues to be stored at the airline’s facilities in Toluca but is not airworthy.
According to a21, from the 57 planes with new registrations, 29 are parked at Goodyear International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona; six are located at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica; another six at Chino Airport in California and six are in Tucson, Arizona. Others are parked in Lake City, Florida; Singapore; the Roswell International Air Center, New Mexico; San Bernardino, California; Myrtle Beach, Georgia; at Indianapolis, Indiana’s airport; and Sofia, Bulgaria.
Interjet’s old Airbus planes that are in Singapore have a new operator: The Chinese airline West Air.
In addition, fifty Interjet employees are suing the airline for unjustified dismissals or refusal to pay severance payments, amounting to $551,000.
According to reportur, from the total claims, approximately 70% were filed for unjustified dismissals, and the remaining 30% are demanding severance payments to be paid after the employees submitted their resignations.
For their liquidation, employees are entitled to a payment equivalent to three months of salary, seniority premium, among other benefits. Likewise, they must receive the resource that they had saved in the company’s savings account, which was not given to them either.
120 Interjet employees who were fired or have not been paid benefits are participating in the lawsuit, which would be added to those that have already been filed.
According to a21, Interjet has applied to the Mexican company Servicios de Personal del Estado de México S.A. de C.V. (SPEM) to ask them to assume the tax debt that the carrier currently owes to the Tax Administration Service.
At the moment, Interjet owes around $148 million just for non-compliance with the payment of taxes.
SPEM is a company linked to the last two federal administrations and to the Del Valle family, the entrepreneurs at the helm of Interjet. The newcomer General Director of Interjet, Carlos Rello, said that the airline depends on an agreement with the Service Tax Administration for the payment of taxes owed, as well as six fortnights and benefits to its workers.
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