It’s one thing when the recession leads to higher prices and a general doom and gloom in the travel industry. But when the economic downturn actually starts jeopardizing aviation safety, it’s a pretty serious issue.
In Mexico, the aviation sector has been in a real double nightmare – the economy sucks and they had to deal with the swine flu outbreak.
The Mexican government recently grounded their fourth airline since 2007. The airlines had performed insufficient maintenance checks, resulting in fluid leaks and other technical deficiencies.
The airlines were also guilty of not repairing aircraft damage and poor pilot training.
In addition to this, three airlines have been grounded because they failed to pay the required government fees and taxes.
One of the airlines involved, Aviacsa, operates a daily Mexico City – Las Vegas flight and was grounded when inspectors discovered a whopping 280 problems with their fleet of 23 planes. When the suspension was overturned by a court, the airline was once again grounded when they failed to pay a $21 Million air-traffic control bill.
The airline called the 280 problems “cosmetic”, but the head of enforcement at the Mexican transportation department correctly states that even cosmetic problems could easily become big problems. In the end, it is reassuring to see that the Mexican aviation inspectors are doing a good job, and are doing everything they can to keep unsafe planes on the ground, where the belong. And remember, not all Mexican carriers can be as sexy as Viva Aerobus!