One of Mexico’s largest airlines grounded all of its planes and shut down all operations this past weekend after a last-minute bid to pull the company out of bankruptcy failed. Nearly 4000 passengers on holidays are stranded, forced to make alternative plans.
The airline stopped operating its route from London Gatwick Airport on Saturday, not a surprise since Mexicana filed for US bankruptcy protection last month. While UK passengers may be out of luck if they’ve purchased flights from London to Mexico with Mexicana, travellers from the USA are not. American Airlines, also a member of the Oneworld alliance, has offered travellers a 20% discount on any published fares if they already hold a booking with Mexicana until October 28th.
The decision to close the airline came after Mexicana’s primary shareholder with 95% of the shares, K Holding, pulled out out of the company, forcing the airline to file for bankruptcy. In response, the Mexican government decided not to give any funding to help revive the airline company. With no money, it’s hard to operate flights to dozens of North American destinations as well as to Latin America and Europe.
The suspension of flights not only affects Mexicana, but also its two subsidiary low cost airlines, MexicanaLink and MexicanaClick. For the first time in 89 years, Mexicana’s birds are not flying the skies.
With Mexicana grounded, there is a huge amount of air space available. The Ministry of Tourism is already discussing with international and other domestic airline companies to help passengers left stranded. For those flying to resort destinations, it is relatively easy to rebook flights, since several airlines operate flights to those areas.
Aeromexico is one of the main airlines that has already started to pick up the slack. Until September 20th, passengers can sign up with Aeromexico for special discounts on flights. They will be given 4 hours notice to arrive at the airport and with proof of sales receipt on their Mexicana flight, can buy a new ticket at a reduced price to fly with either Aeromexico or Connect.
Do you have flights booked with Mexicana? Use liligo.com to search for alternative flights to Mexico.
Img: dmealiffe / flickr cc