Interjet (AIJ, Toluca) is planning to raise up to USD750 million from new investors to fund an initial fleet of ten leased A320-200s and ten Let 410s, the airline's restructuring supervisor, Iván Romo, told Bloomberg adding that operations should return at some point in 2022.

Newly appointed chief executive Luis Federico Bertrand said the carrier would use the Airbus narrowbodies to operate Mexican trunk routes, while the Czech-made turboprops would be used on thin regional routes currently not served by any Mexican carrier. He did not elaborate on Interjet's business model, and it is not clear whether it would treat the Let 410 routes as feeder or point-to-point traffic. Bertrand stressed that the final type selection had yet to be made and that Interjet is also evaluating Cessna Aircraft Company and Pilatus Aircraft aircraft as an alternative.

He underlined that the order would not be a repeat pf the SSJ 100/95 fiasco, in which the Russian jets were bedevilled by a lack of spare parts and maintenance centres in the region. He stressed that all of the evaluated types use Western-made engines and avionics, including the Let 410s.

Before suspending all operations in early 2021, Interjet operated a fleet comprising A320 Family narrowbodies and SSJ 100/95s. At the peak of its growth, in 2018, it operated forty-seven A320-200s, three A320-200Ns, six A321-200s, eight A321-200Ns, and twenty-one SSJ 100/95s, the ch-aviation fleets history module shows. Most of the aircraft were returned or repossessed in 2020 and 2021. Before its grounding, Interjet operated seven SSJs and still retains orders for a further four SSJ 100/95s from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and another twenty-eight A320-200Ns from airbus but will not be taking any of these aircraft.

Bertrand added that the airline has also been contemplating adding two dedicated freighter "jets" but did not disclose the type.

The Mexican carrier plans to split its financing into three tranches. The first tranche, of up to USD50 million, would be used to restart operations and cover the most urgent expenses. The airline will then raise up to USD300 million, and then USD300-400 million more to repay its debt and finance growth in the post-restart phase.

Romo did not name any prospective investors but said Interjet was in talks with four potential partners, including three from the United States. He admitted that the financing would be organised as "distress funding" and would therefore be complex. Interjet's debts are estimated at MXN40 billion Mexican pesos (USD1.9 billion), including some USD700 million owed to the tax authorities alone.

Interjet is currently 90%-owned by Alejandro del Valle, the president of the carrier's board. Del Valle was arrested on September 9 on unrelated charges of fraud but was released from custody on December 1, 2021. Interjet stressed that its business plans were independent of its current majority-owner.

The Mexican regional carrier was ailing financially even before the COVID-19 pandemic, although the crisis proved the final nail in its coffin. It entered bankruptcy restructuring in April 2021.