After the closure of Mexico regional carrier Aeromar last week, workers in the country's aviation sector are bracing for more turbulence as financial, legislative, and safety impediments mount up.
While the deeply indebted Aeromar was a relatively modest company in comparison to rivals, its closure is a symbol of a national problem, the flight attendants' union warned Thursday, following the closure of a number of other carriers.
Aeromar left behind debts totaling over 7 billion pesos ($381.28 million), according to the union, using legal estimates.
This Monday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that Aeromar had been "poorly administered" and that specific legal action will be taken.
According to the group, former Mexicana employees have yet to be liquidated, and more than 100 cases have been filed by flight attendants' union members alone.
"We don't want the same mistake to be repeated (with Aeromar)," union head Ada Salazar said. "Remember that legal processes in Mexico take time."
Employees are also concerned that new rules may cause extra problems for Mexican aviation.
A proposal to restructure the sector, which unions and airlines agree is required, is currently before Congress, but the industry has spoken out against several of its aspects.
On Thursday, Congress also enacted legislation granting Mexico's armed forces a greater role in airspace monitoring.
This has sparked concern, as has a proposal to enable "cabotage," or to allow foreign airlines to operate domestic flights within Mexico.
According to the CEO of low-cost carrier Volaris, industry executives told the transportation ministry and MPs on Thursday that they "do not consider the opening of cabotage to be necessary."
The adjustments are intended to restore Mexico's Category 1 aviation safety status, which was reduced by the US Federal Aviation Administration in May 2021.
López Obrador has stated that "cabotage" and the establishment of the military-run Mexicana will benefit consumers.