Mexicana suspends London Gatwick service

Mexicana suspends London Gatwick service

Mexicana Airlines has suspended all flights from London Gatwick to Mexico City after filing for bankruptcy protection last week.

The Mexican national airline had earlier assured passengers that it would continue operating its services from London. However the route, which was launched in October 2008, is one of 18 being suspended over the next two days as the airline undergoes a financial restructuring programme.

The carrier has suffered from a dramatic fall in the number of holidaymakers visiting Mexico following last year’s swine flu outbreak. Its debts exceed £628 million.

In a statement on its website, it said that the financial situation is “no longer sustainable” after the unions failed to agree with its cost-saving measures.

Despite new investment and savings of some £500 million, its operating costs were still too high, it claimed, adding that its pilots earn up to 50 per cent more than the average wage paid by airlines in the US and its flight attendants earn 32 per cent more than the US average.

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The airline proposed a cut in pay of up to 41 per cent along with the axing of 700 jobs.

Unions have so far rejected the proposals, with staff at the airline staging a number of impromptu protests in Mexico City.

Both MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink are operated independently of Mexicana, and are unaffected by the process.

Passengers due to fly with on Mexicana over the coming days will be rebooked on other airlines.