Mexico’s Interjet to restructure fleet, phase out some SSJ100s

Mexican LCC Interjet Airlines, the only operator of Sukhoi Superjets in the Americas, is planning to phase out some of its 22 Superjet 100s as part of a fleet restructuring and overall strategic growth plan through 2021 announced Sept. 14.

The airline did not elaborate on how many of its 22 SSJ100s will go, but left the door open for continued use of the model, which it has operated since 2013. Interjet still has four SSJ100s on order, two of which are built already. In its statement, Interjet said it will phase out some SSJs “with an opportunity for delivery of next-generation Superjet 100 aircraft for future use in markets where these aircraft make operational and economic sense.”

To cement its commitment to continue flying SSJs, the airline said it is installing an SSJ100 flight simulator in its Toluca, Mexico training center “and will have quick access to an enhanced spare parts inventory in Mexico City.”

In late 2016, Interjet grounded half of its SSJ100 fleet to have Sukhoi technical teams repair technical problems with a stabilizer node, part of a worldwide inspection and repair sequence Sukhoi initiated following its identification of a minor fault in the tail stabilizer of an SSJ100. Following the repair, Interjet’s SSJs returned to service in mid-January 2017.

The remainder of Interjet’s fleet are all Airbus A320s, with 47 A320ceos, six A321ceos, three A320neos and seven A321neos.

“While this fleet has served us well, as our international business continues to grow, we need to be sure we have enough of the right type of aircraft to sustain this growth and meet the increasing demands of international airports such as Mexico City with reduced operating windows and available slot times,” Interjet CEO José Luis Garza said.

To that end, Garza indicated Interjet will be adding 20 more A320neos to be delivered over the next five years, on top of the company’s existing order for 35 A320neos.

In addition to the fleet moves, Interjet said it will look to increase its marketing in Mexico, the US and Canada to emphasize the airline’s difference from other LCCs in the region.

“Lately, the airline industry seems to be going in a different direction by unbundling services that traditionally came with the price of a ticket such as checking bags, seat selection, free drinks and snacks onboard, even the ability to pay by credit card,” Interject CCO Julio Gamero said. “At the same time, more rows of seats are being added to planes reducing seat width and legroom between seats. Airlines are saying these new basic fares give travelers the ability to pay for what they use. The reality is passengers more and more are resenting these charges [and are] still preferring simple, all-inclusive pricing.”

Interjet’s fares include what Garza describes as “business class legroom at every seat,” free bags, a guaranteed seat on every flight booked and inflight snacks and beverages, among other services. The company said it plans to simplify its fare structure to make it easier for people to understand what they are getting for their fare…

Compartir noticia:
Biblioteca Virtual