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Mexican judge declares local airline Interjet bankrupt - document

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Unionized employees at Mexican airline Interjet stand outside the company's premises after going on strike, after weeks of flight cancellations as the company struggles to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -A Mexican judge has declared local airline Interjet bankrupt, a document from judicial authorities showed on Tuesday, almost two years after the company stopped operating its low-cost flights around the Americas.

The carrier now has 185 days to reach an agreement with creditors, during which Interjet's payments are suspended, according to the document.

"This makes us all very happy," said Carlos del Valle, son of Interjet owner Alejandro del Valle, saying the decision signaled a way of moving forward.

"Once our mediator is assigned, we're going to ask for the authorization to make essential payments," the younger del Valle said in a message on Twitter.

According to the document seen by Reuters, Mexico's transportation ministry has five days to assign a mediator to the case.

Interjet's union has been on strike since January 2021, alleging employees went months without their salaries or benefits before the airline abruptly went offline.

Thousands of customers were also affected by the flight cancellations, and some have launched a collective complaint through Mexico's federal consumer protection office.

"Soon we will announce the steps to follow for all those people left with the issue of tickets, vouchers and all of the customers who had any inconvenience," del Valle said.

Aguilar Amilpa Abogados, which according to local media reports was bringing the case against Interjet on the behalf of a group of creditors, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Kylie Madry; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Christopher Cushing)