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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

What Happened To Interjet’s Airbus Fleet?

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The Mexican carrier Interjet ceased operations on December 11, 2020, after 15 years of flying throughout the country. Interjet was one of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic (although it had a severe crisis long before). The airline had more than 80 aircraft at its height, including a large Airbus A320 family fleet. What happened to it? Let’s investigate further.

Interjet
Interjet lost its Airbus A320 fleet in 2020. Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno | Simple Flying.

What happened to Interjet?

In early 2020, Interjet had a fleet of approximately 86 aircraft. We say approximately because the airline had 20 Sukhoi Superjet and 66 Airbus A320 family-based airplanes, but not all were active. Some of them were even scrapped and cannibalized for spares. For example, Interjet was no longer flying its Sukhoi fleet. The plan was to sell it and become a single OEM type of airline, which made absolute sense.

Additionally, Interjet was trying to get out of a financial hole, after three years in a row with millionaire net losses. But the COVID-19 pandemic was the final dagger. In March, the leasing companies started the repossession of Interjet’s Airbus fleet.

Little by little, the Mexican carrier lost its fleet. In the end, it had to reactivate its Sukhoi fleet. But that wasn’t enough, and it ceased operations in December 2020. One month later, its former employees started a strike. Currently, Interjet faces a bankruptcy process, the police captured one of its former owners, and Interpol is looking for the other.

Play former Interjet
This PLAY A321neo aircraft once flew with Interjet’s livery. Photo: Colin Cook via Flickr.

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So, what happened to Interjet’s Airbus fleet?

The lessors have slowly been founding new operators for Interjet’s former fleet. For example, Seraph Aviation will deliver one of Interjet’s old planes (ex-registration XA-UNO) to Pakistan Airlines.

According to ch-aviation, this is what happened to Interjet’s former Airbus A321neo fleet:

  1. PLAY received three former Interjet A321neos. Their current registrations are TF-PLA, TF-PLB, and TF-AEW
  2. The remaining five aircraft are currently stored in the United States and have US registrations.

Regarding Interjet’s former A321 fleet, this is what happened:

  1. The Chinese carrier West Air received three aircraft. The current registrations are B-321R, B-321S, and B-321T.
  2. According to ch-aviation, the remaining three A321 are currently stored at Chino, California.

Regarding Interjet’s former A320 fleet, this is what happened:

  1. Most of Interjet’s former A320 fleet is still under storage in the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
  2. Nevertheless, some have found new owners. For instance, Bulgaria Air has three Airbus A320 registrations LZ-FBH, LZ-FBI, and LZ-FBK.
  3. Uzbekistan’s airline Qanot Sharq has two registrations UK32031, and UK32030.
  4. Trade Air has one, registration 9A-BTI.
  5. Pakistan Airlines will have one of Interjet’s former A320 (its Mexican registration was XA-UNO).
  6. Finally, Air Canada Rouge has five former Interjet planes (although it received some of them before Interjet’s final crisis). Their registrations are C-GFWX, C-GFDU, C-GFCP, C-GFCH, C-GFCI. Ch-aviation puts them as stored.
Interjet Getty
Interjet also had a Sukhoi Superjet 100 fleet. Photo: Getty Images.

What happened to Interjet’s Sukhoi fleet?

Interjet was famous for being the only Sukhoi operator in the Americas. The idea to bring the Russian-built plane here was controversial, and it ended up backfiring the company. Interjet had a lot of issues with the Sukhoi.

In the end, Interjet was trying to get rid of its Sukhoi fleet, to no avail. Every single Interjet Sukhoi aircraft is currently stored, mainly at Toluca International Airport, near Mexico City. Most likely, they won’t fly again.

Did you ever fly with Interjet? How was your experience? Which aircraft did you prefer, the Airbus A320 or the Sukhoi Superjet? Let us know in the comments.



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