Mexicana de Aviacion has indefinitely suspended ticket sales as it struggles to restructure its debts.
The airline – the largest in Mexico – confirmed it had begun bankruptcy proceedings in Mexico City and New York earlier this week, but insisted it would continue to operate as normal.
However, ticket sales were suspended at 18:00 local time (23:00 BST) last night.
The latest development does not affect the subsidiary Click and Link airlines, which fly routes inside Mexico.
Mexicana insisted it would continue to operate all flights for passengers who hold existing tickets.
“The decision affects only Companía Mexicana de Aviación ticket sales,” explained a statement.
“MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink are independent carriers and will therefore continue to sell and operate domestic flights as normal through all traditional channels.”
The airline also confirmed negations with employees and creditors were “ongoing” with hope of a “positive outcome”.
Mexicana operates roughly 220 daily flights, almost all of them to foreign destinations. However, it remains unclear which will operate following a decision to cancel a number of departures – particularly those to the United States – over the weekend.
An average of 22,000 passengers fly with the airline each day.
Employees have continued to demonstrate proposed job cuts at the airline, with more than 200 pilots and 100 members of the Mexican Electrical Workers union gathering outside Mexicana’s headquarters yesterday.
Many regard the position of chairman, Gaston Azcarraga, as untenable, while there is also anger at proposed pay cuts.
Mexicana has suggested pay cuts of 41 per cent for pilots and 39 percent for flight attendants may be needed, along with a 40 percent reduction in employee numbers, in order keep the company afloat.
The 89-year-old airline has a debt of close to 10 billion pesos ($796 million), and has been hard hit Mexico’s deep recession and a flu outbreak last year.