MEXICO CITY – Grounded Mexican airline Mexicana de Aviacion moved closer to resuming operations after carrying out two test flights Thursday for certification purposes.
The flights – the first in the morning and second in the afternoon – left Mexico City’s international airport and landed at the airport in the Pacific coast resort city of Acapulco.
Civil aviation authorities require the flights to test aircraft operation and safety, as well as crew operating procedures.
The airline, which suspended flights in August due to serious financial woes, began bankruptcy proceedings a month later to restructure some $700 million in debt and now is close to reaching an accord with creditors.
In November, Mexicana’s pilots, flight attendants and ground crew agreed to a restructuring deal offered by investor group PC Capital, signing a new collective-bargaining agreement to ensure a resumption of operations.
Under the deal, only 25 percent of the Mexicana group’s workforce, which once numbered 8,000, is to be rehired.
PC Capital plans to operate with between 28 and 30 aircraft, far fewer than the 112 planes that Mexicana and its affiliated budget airlines Click and Link – which are to be merged into Mexicana – flew before their operations were suspended.
Mexican authorities expect Mexicana to resume ticket sales on Feb. 20.
In November, a U.S. judge granted the company bankruptcy protection to allow time for a financial restructuring. The ruling enabled the airline to preserve its spaces, routes and schedules at U.S. airports.
Mexicana is scheduled to carry out more test flights on Friday. EFE