MEXICO CITY – Mexican airline Aviacsa is flying again after a second suspension by the Communications and Transport Ministry was lifted.
Flights were halted from 5 p.m. Thursday until 10:20 a.m. Friday after the ministry, known as the SCT, suspended Aviacsa for the second time in two weeks, the company’s planning director, Manuel Cung, said in a phone interview.
Around 45 flights and 3,000 passengers were affected by the latest suspension, though some of the Friday takeoffs were merely delayed, Cung said.
Aviacsa, which was also suspended for three days last week, was given the green light to resume flying on June 5 after a federal judge issued a provisional injunction ordering the SCT to let the airline fly.
The SCT filed a formal complaint against the judge’s decision, and on Thursday suspended the airline again, citing a legal ruling that the SCT’s complaint was well-founded.
Cung said that ruling was non-binding, as it wasn’t issued by a judge. “It was misunderstood,” he said.
After the SCT suspended Aviacsa again, the airline obtained a definitive injunction, which Cung said should protect it from future suspensions for the causes involved in the current dispute.
The SCT initially suspended Aviacsa for irregularities it said threatened the safety of the company’s aircraft, but later specified that the airline had ” structural problems” with its inspection system.
Aviacsa said the irregularities were cosmetic, and Cung said the airline is following up on the SCT’s demands to improve its inspection system.
Airline officials have accused the SCT of trying to shut their company down in order to favor Mexico’s larger carriers. Cung said the original suspension was put in place after the SCT inspected Aviacsa’s planes and gave the company a series of recommendations that were impossible to implement in a five-day time frame allowed by the SCT.
Authorities maintain that they’re only trying to guarantee the safety of Mexico’s airlines. Aviacsa operates a 26-plane fleet of Boeing 737s that it uses to serves 17 cities in Mexico, as well as Las Vegas.