Photo: Mexicana de Aviacion
Mexican state-owned bank Bancomext, one of the main creditors of bankrupt airline Mexicana de Aviacion, said it is seeking the removal of the judge handling the company’s debt-restructuring process.
Bancomext said in a statement that it made the request “due to the harm the delay in the airline’s bankruptcy proceedings represents for Mexicana de Aviacion’s creditors and workers.”
The bank said it filed a complaint with the Federal Judiciary Council, which oversees Mexico’s courts, due to “delays and lack of fulfillment of certain procedures in Mexicana de Aviacion’s bankruptcy proceedings,”
The complaint also was signed by three other Mexicana creditors: Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliaries, the state-owned corporation that manages Mexico’s airports; Mexico City’s international airport; and Mexico’s Federal Consumer Protection Agency.
Bancomext lamented that “the company’s assets continue to deteriorate to the detriment of its creditors and workers” due to uncertainties stemming from the delays.
The bank also termed “unacceptable” the lack of results in terms of “serious and viable financial alternatives to prevent the liquidation of Mexicana de Aviacion and make possible the resumption of operations.”
Bancomext called for a rapid solution to this problem, which “has gone on too long” and adversely affected the value of the airline’s assets.
It also described as “timely” the Mexican government’s proposal to replace Mexicana’s administrator and conciliator, noting “the lack of progress in reaching a creditors’ agreement.”
Mexico’s Communications and Transportation Secretariat proposed Wednesday replacing the administrator and conciliator in Mexicana’s bankruptcy proceedings, Gerardo Badin, due to the lack of agreements with creditors in a process dating back two years.
In May, the Med Atlantica group acquired 95 percent of Mexicana, which suspended operations in August 2010 due to its financial woes and filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.
Med Atlantica is led by Spanish businessman Christian Cadenas, although 80 percent of the group’s capital comes from Mexican investors.
The Mexicana group of airlines, also including sister budget carriers Click and Link, grounded its operations in August 2010 after nearly nine decades in business and filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure a debt load of more than $800 million.
The process has dragged on for two years and, although progress has been made in 2012, no concrete date has been set for the airline to resume operations.
In February, Med Atlantica deposited $300 million and showed proof of its ability to recapitalize the airline.
The airline is expected to return to the skies this year with a staff of just 2,500 workers, meaning that severance packages still must be negotiated with the remaining 5,500 employees.