Beleaguered Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet abruptly canceled flights over the weekend through Tuesday, reportedly because it lacked cash to pay its fuel bills.
Cash flow has been disrupted by the pandemic, Interjet admitted on its website to explain the cancellations. It assured passengers that it will resume flights on November 3.
But the issue may be more dire than Interjet let on. Interjet had to cancel its 19 flights scheduled for Sunday and Monday because it couldn’t pay its jet fuel bills, Mexican media report. Interjet employees even took to Twitter to implore the state fuel provider to allow Interjet to fly so they could get paid.
The carrier also said it couldn’t operate its schedule because several of its aircraft are out for maintenance. Interjet started the year with a fleet of more than 80 aircraft, made up of A320s and Sukhoi Superjets. Financially troubled before the pandemic, Interjet started returning its A320s to lessors once the pandemic began and is down to its fleet of 20 or so Sukhois, of which it actively operates six. The Sukhoi Superjets have been plagued with maintenance problems since they entered the fleet.
Interjet has long been on Airline Weekly‘s list of ailing in airlines. The carrier has faced fierce competition from the likes of Volaris and Viva, which don’t have Interjet’s fleet problems. Furthermore, Interjet is hanging on only due to a cash infusion over the summer from a group of investors. The fact that it had to cancel its schedule over unpaid fuel suggests the end could be closer than previously thought.