Troubled Mexican airline slashes flights

13:04, August 10, 2010      

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Compania Mexicana de Aviacion (CMA), Mexico's largest airline, is in financial trouble, suspending 14 flights Monday and terminating four flights for the following three days, the firm said on its website.

The suspended Monday flights were those linking Mexico City to London, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, San Jose, Caracas, Bogota, Montreal, San Antonio and Chicago. In the coming days, the firm will cut flights from Mexico City to San Francisco and from the central Mexican city Guadalajara to San Jose and Chicago.

The CMA is under bankruptcy protection and owes more than 1.6 billion pesos (127 million U.S. dollars) to its creditors, according to local radio reports.

Representatives of the airline's union have met with counterparts from the Labor Ministry, which manages the airline, to discuss possible cuts in salary and staff.

The unions are also seeking an investor status of the company, Lizette Clavel Sanchez, secretary-general of Mexicana Airlines' flight attendants union, said.

Last week, the CMA stopped selling new tickets, triggering a declaration from Mexico's economy minister that the government will not rescue the airline if it fails to come to an agreement with its creditors.

Separately, Humberto Trevino, a minister with Mexico's Communications and Transportation Ministry, said Monday that the government is willing to accept CMA' s main rival AeroMexico as the nation's only international carrier.

The CMA normally carries around 22,000 passengers each week and has international flights to the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and South America with a total fleet of 69 aircraft.



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