Mexico airline Mexicana axes flights amid turmoil

Image caption,
Before the suspension of some routes, the carrier flew to 65 destinations

One of Mexico's biggest airlines, Mexicana de Aviacion, has cancelled some flights, days after it filed for bankruptcy protection.

Mexicana suspended 13 flights from Monday with two more routes halted beginning Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cutbacks included flights to and from London, Madrid, Montreal, Chicago and cities in Central and South America.

The bankruptcy protection bid came after the carrier failied to reach a deal with trade unions on cost cutting.

Creditor pressure

The airline said its financial situation "had deteriorated substantially" as a series of events "strangled" the cash flow it needed to finance its day-to-day operations.

It added that pressure from creditors had forced it to phase out flights with passengers who had already started a journey being given a priority in order for them to get home.

It had suspended ticket sales last week, but said it would continue operating flights for travellers who had already bought them.

But the heavily-indebted airline had not said how long it would continue honouring such tickets.

Flu impact

Mexicana had proposed deep pay cuts for pilots and crew, as well as a 40% reduction in the workforce.

The firm suffered heavy losses during Mexico's recession in 2009, as well during an outbreak of swine flu the same year.

The outbreak caused a sharp fall in tourism in the country.

Before the suspension of flights, Mexicana had 220 daily flights to 65 national and international destinations, including the US, Canada, South America and Europe.

The company says it carried 1.1 million passengers in 2009.

The 89-year-old airline has debts of about $800m (£500m).