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

Former Interjet Pilots Taking On New Roles at Expanding Volaris, VivaAerobus

As Mexican Low-Cost Carrier Interjet remains non-operational and in an indefinite state of collapse due to financial difficulties, many former Interjet pilots have found work this past month flying the same kind of passenger jets for Mexico’s second- and third-largest carriers, Volaris and VivaAerobus.

Interjet was the third-largest carrier in Mexico operating a fleet of Sukhoi Superjet 100, Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 jets up until its demise in 2020. Eighty former Interjet pilots out of a team of 630 total staff members, in addition to a large number of former aircraft maintenance staff, were recruited by Volaris and VivaAerobus within the past month for short-term contract work, according to a source at the airline who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Interjet pilots have the advantage of being familiar with Airbus jets, which are also operated by both Volaris and VivaAerobus. According to Mexico’s Board of Conciliation, which arbitrates labor issues in the country, their experience flying Airbus jets makes their transitions to another regional carrier easier. Former Interjet pilots would have a more difficult time transitioning to work for Aeromexico, Mexico’s largest airline and flag carrier, because its fleet is made up exclusively of Boeing and Embraer jets.

The recruitment of Interjet pilots took place around seven weeks after Interjet pilots went on strike on Jan. 8, protesting unpaid wages in Mexico City, Toluca and Cancun. The pilots and its union demanded Interjet pay wages and benefits that have been owed to them since September.

Interjet shut down all operations indefinitely in mid-December and has remained virtually non-operational since despite saying it would return to the skies. Although the carrier has not officially ceased operations, its website and booking system have disappeared in recent months, leaving the airline in a state of limbo.

Both Volaris and VivaAerobus have returned to their former levels of operations before COVID-19 and have resumed flights between Mexico and the U.S. Volaris has also resumed service to Central America with the reopening of borders.

Both airlines have ramped up service significantly in the last month, helping them to reach their same level of operations as the same period last year. Volaris focused on its domestic market to help lead its recovery, while for its international market, the low-cost carrier resumed service to destinations in Central America and added additional services to Texas and California from its Mexico City hub. VivaAerobus increased its operational capacity as well, also adding more services to the U.S. from Mexico City.

Author

  • Most people hate long flights or overnight layovers, but Albert loves them. The airport and flying parts of traveling are the biggest highlights of any trip for him – as this avgeek always gets a thrill from sampling different airline cabin products and checking out regional developments happening at local U.S. airports. He’s flown on almost every major carrier in the U.S. and Asia Pacific, and he hopes to try out the new A350s soon. Albert recently completed his undergraduate studies in Business Accounting at USC in Los Angeles and he is currently recruiting for a corporate analyst position at one of the U.S. legacy carriers. During his college years, he interned at LAX for Los Angeles World Airports working behind-the-scenes (and on the ramp) in public relations and accounting. Outside of writing for AirlineGeeks, he enjoys trekking the Hollywood hills, visiting new hotspots throughout SoCal, and doing the occasional weekender on Spirit Airlines.

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