Mexico’s Interjet Says It May Sell Stake to United, American

  • Nation’s third-largest carrier looks to expand to 90 planes
  • Service to Canada starts next year with Toronto, Vancouver

Interjet, Mexico’s third-biggest carrier, is in talks to sell an equity stake to American Airlines Group Inc. or United Continental Holdings Inc., said Chairman Miguel Aleman Velasco.

Aleman Velasco declined to say how large a stake is for sale or what price it might fetch. No agreement has been reached, he told reporters Thursday in Mexico City.

"We’re going to associate ourselves with a foreign airline," he said. "We’re talking with United and American."

A sale would raise money for Interjet as it looks to keep up with the growth of rival discount carrier Volaris, the second-largest Mexican airline by passengers. Delta Air Lines Inc. is seeking to increase a stake in Grupo Aeromexico SAB, the nation’s biggest carrier, to as much as 49 percent and to create a joint-venture partnership. That would enable the carriers to collaborate on fares and routes without violating antitrust rules.

American has a marketing agreement with Interjet that lets the U.S. carrier book passengers on Interjet flights between Mexico City and five Mexican destinations.

“Interjet is a valued partner and we continue to look for ways to enhance and expand our commercial relationship,” said Matt Miller, a spokesman for American. He declined to comment on Aleman Velasco’s remarks.

A representative of United didn’t immediately comment.

Interjet plans to about double its fleet to 90 aircraft by 2018, Aleman Velasco said. The carrier flies Airbus Group SE A320 single-aisle jets and the Russian-made Superjet 100 regional plane.

The airline will begin flying to Toronto and Vancouver from Mexico City next year and eventually add routes from Cancun and Guadalajara, Aleman Velasco said.

— With assistance by Michael Sasso, and Mary Schlangenstein

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