Monday, August 30, 2010

Mexicana Airlines Shuts Down 'Indefinitely' ... Aeromexico Selling Alternate Flights on Standby Basis to Stranded Mexicana Passengers

All Mexicana Airlines flights are suspended indefinitely because of its, ahem, "delicate financial situation."

Mexicana Airlines had hubs at Mexico City, Cancun and Guadalajara. Here's some background on the company.

It isn't a matter of hasta la vista, baby -- because that term, despite Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous movie misuse, actually loosely connotes see ya later. By the sounds of it, Mexicana ain't going to be seeing ya any time now or later.

Meanwhile, Aeromexico has reacted by selling what it calls a Passenger Protection Program for stranded or otherwise out-of-luck customers of Mexicana Airlines, Mexicana Link and Mexicana Click. The policy applies for domestic flights within Mexico and international flights where Aeromexico currently operates scheduled air service. Aeromexico, which has struggled through its own recent financial challenges, operates a fleet of only 44 -- mostly 737s, but including four 777s and five 767s.

As Aeromexico describes the "protection plan" for Mexicana strandees and not at all entirely reassuringly, in my opinion):

"This protection program provides fare assistance to passengers based on a wait-list system to be conducted at airports. This policy is valid from August 27 through September 20.

Program Conditions:

The program applies to passengers with Mexicana tickets that were issued as follows:

--Only passengers with tickets issued through August 27.
--Loyalty program issued tickets.
--Mexicana employee tickets.

Protection Procedure:

--Passengers must be present at the airport at least 4 hours prior to flight departure with issued ticket and/or ticket receipt issued by Mexicana.
--Only original bearer of ticket will be considered for protection program.
--All ticket receipts must display itinerary with routes, flights and dates, as confirmed by Mexicana.
--On their original departure date with Mexicana, passengers must purchase tickets at Aeromexico airport ticket counters.
--Once the new Aeromexico ticket is purchased, passengers must proceed to check in at Aeromexico ticket counters in order to be placed on a waitlist for the requested itinerary.

Passenger Protection Pricing List


Total one-way fares

Flights with duration of 1 hour or less

$128 US

Between 1 and 2 hours

$144 US

Between 2 and 3 hours


Over 3 hours




Total one-way fares

ORIGIN AND DESTINATION: Bogota, Colombia / San José, Costa Rica / Havana. $299

ORIGIN AND DESTINATION: Madrid, Spain / Sao Paulo, Brazil / Buenos Aires, Argentina. $599.

ORIGIN AND DESTINATION: United States, flights with duration of 4 hours or less. $269.

ORIGIN AND DESTINATION: United Status, over 4 hours of flight time. $289.

Fares shown are one-way and include local taxes, fuel surcharges, value added taxes and other fees.

These fares apply on direct flights, To and From destinations / routes operated by Aeromexico and/or Aeromexico Connect. In case a connection is required, an additional charge of $500 MXN for Mexico domestic flights and $50 USD for international routes (on one-way basis segment) will apply.

Aeromexico is reinforcing its domestic connectivity with the following routes:

Cancún – México / 2 additional daily flights

México – Monterrey / 6 additional daily flights

Guadalajara – México / 1 additional daily flight

México – Tijuana / 1 additional daily flight

Guadalajara – Tijuana / 1 additional daily flight

México – Tuxtla Gutiérrez / New service starting October 1st, 2010

Acapulco – México / 1 daily flight

México – Veracruz / 1 daily flight

Tijuana – Zacatecas / 1 daily fligh


Meanwhile, here is the official statement on the shutdown from Mexicana's parent company:

"Nuevo Grupo Aeronáutico, S.A. de C.V. ("Grupo Mexicana") announced that as a result of the group's delicate financial situation when it changed owners a week ago, compounded by failure to reach agreements that would allow for the capitalization of its three airlines, Mexicana Airlines, MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink flights will suspend operations until further notice as of midday (12:00 p.m.) on Saturday, August 28, 2010.

Among the factors that have contributed to this announcement are:

--Grupo Mexicana's fragile financial situation, which has deteriorated further over the last four weeks due to the previous management's decision to suspend ticket sales, forcing the company to continue operating in the interests of passengers without receiving any revenue.

--No substantial agreements were reached to give companies in the Group long-term viability.

--Lack of effectiveness in the insolvency (Concurso Mercantil) process intended to protect additional financial resources available to the company so it could to continue operating.

--Given the uncertainty of the situation, certain suppliers have begun demanding advanced payment of services that are essential to the airlines' operations.

Today's decision is a painful one for the 8,000-strong Grupo Mexicana family, but we will continue seeking out ways of securing the company's long-term financial viability, so our passengers can once again enjoy the quality services they are accustomed to. We hope to be back in the air soon and would like to thank everyone involved in this process for their support and understanding.

If you have bookings or/and have paid for a Grupo Mexicana flight and have a reservation code, we would like to inform you that:

--All Mexicana, MexicanaLink and MexicanaClick flights will be suspended until further notice as of midday on Saturday, August 28, 2010. All flights programmed to depart after this hour will be canceled.

--Grupo Mexicana deeply regrets any inconvenience this decision may cause and will continue to assist passengers to the full extent of its abilities. Passengers who have already flown a leg of their journey and who are scheduled to fly with a Grupo Mexicana airline after Saturday, August 28, 2010 are advised to consult the websites or contact us at the numbers listed below. Priority will be given to minors traveling unaccompanied, passengers traveling with children under age 3 and special needs passengers.

--If you have not yet begun your journey, we recommend you make alternative travel arrangements.

--For information on how to apply for a refund, visit or"

By the way, you will be irritated, but probably but no means surprised, to see that the above Web sites (I deliberately avoided hyperlinking them) lead you into a blind alley. I'll update when I get reliable information for anyone stuck holding a Mexicana ticket or, worse, stuck by Mexicana without a way home.

This stuff, on, is all anecdotal, and of limited value.


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