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Compania Mexicana de Aviacion

Mexicana restarts ticket sales

Doug Cameron and Paul Kiernan  Aug 13, 2010

The main unit of Mexicana said Wednesday that it had resumed ticket sales as it faces a showdown next week with creditors seeking to retrieve their aircraft from the Mexican airline.

A senior executive said Compania Mexicana de Aviacion restarted sales online and through ticket offices.

Adolfo Crespo, senior vice president of customer service and corporate communications, said it would resume indirect sales through travel agencies, initially via those connected to the Amadeus booking system. Mexicana filed for bankruptcy protection in Mexico and the U.S. on Aug. 2 and halted ticket sales two days later.

Mexicana Chief Executive Manuel Borja said in an interview on Mexico City's Radio Formula station that the suspension of ticket sales heightened the airline's need for fresh capital.

"We've been operating for practically a week and a half without revenue," Borja said. "That represents a cost for the company of around 600 million pesos ($47.1 million).

Depending on how Mexicana's restructuring goes, Borja said the airline requires a cash injection of between $100 million and $150 million to become viable again.

Its MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink domestic units, which didn't file for creditor protection, didn't suspend sales, though their parent said last week's bankruptcy filing had "serious repercussions" on the two businesses.

Mexicana has restored some of the services cut at the start of the week, though it continues to operate a reduced schedule amid continuing talks with unions aimed at reducing its cost base. The company is also seeking a strategic investor.

An effort by some aircraft owners to overturn a stay on repossessing planes leased to Mexicana will be heard by a New York bankruptcy judge Aug. 16.

Mexicana restarts ticket sales
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