Just days after filing for bankruptcy protection in both Mexico and the U.S., a move that involved suspending some flights and reducing its flight schedule, Mexicana has now stopped selling flights entirely. Reuters reports that the airline is still operating its remaining flights that have already been sold.
As reported earlier this week, Mexicana is in deep financial trouble. The airline is attempting to wrangle severe pay cuts from its pilots and flight attendants, and would need to lay off roughly 40 percent of its flight crew as well. Alternatively, the airline proposed selling the airline—along with an insurmountable mountain of crushing debt—to its unions for virtually nothing. This move would likely lead to the airline’s collapse, but would transfer the burden of responsibility to the unions.
But this new move adds an interesting wrinkle to the story. At the moment, there’s no real sense of what comes next, though it’s typically not a good thing when an airline stops selling tickets. Mexicana could be bluffing the unions into thinking the situation is truly desperate, and in doing so motivate them to accept one of the proposed solutions. The more obvious interpretation, that Mexicana is on the verge of shutting down, could also be true, making this nothing more than an attempt to buy a few more days.
Something tells me we’ll know more sooner rather than later.