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August 5, 2010

Ailing Mexicana airline suspends ticket sales

Filed under: Airlines — aerotowfeeq @ 10:39 pm
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(COURTESY AEROTOWFEEQ.IN )

Mexicana suspended tickets sales Wednesday night, a move that comes two days after Mexico’s largest carrier filed for bankruptcy protection. The Associated Press writes Mexicana “said it would continue operating flights for travelers who already bought them. The decision did not affect the company’s Click and Link airlines, which fly routes only inside Mexico.”

“People who already bought tickets will be able to fly,” airline spokesman Armando Vera says to AP, though the news agency adds that “he didn’t say how long [Mexicana] would continue honoring tickets.”

Mexicana made its decision to stop selling tickets as it tries to resume talks with labor groups, from whom the airline is seeking substantial concessions. Reuters writes “the 89-year-old airline’s top managers … say [Mexicana’s staff numbers and wages] are bloated and way above those of U.S. peers. But workers refuse to have their benefits shrink further after giving up multiple benefits in 2006, which helped Mexicana save about $35 million per year.”

As for its move to halt ticket sales, Bloomberg News quotes a statement from Mexicana that says: “This decision will offer certainty and confidence to consumers” and will “create greater space to bring to fruition negotiations” with labor unions. Lizette Clavel, secretary general of the Flight Attendants Union of Mexican Aviation, responds: “Unfortunately, this doesn’t help with the negotiations.”

Dow Jones writes “Mexicana traces its roots to the 1920s and, along with Aeromexico, is one of Mexico’s two legacy carriers. The government rescued both companies following Mexico’s 1995 financial crisis and sold them to private investors about a decade later.”

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