Mexico’s Interjet Says It May Sell Stake to United, AmericanBy
Nation’s third-largest carrier looks to expand to 90 planes
Service to Canada starts next year with Toronto, Vancouver
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