Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: How reliable is Mexican airline Interjet?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Monday 15 April 2013
Q. I am arranging a trip involving Mexico and Cuba. The best deal from Mexico City to Havana seems to be Interjet. How is this airline's reliability? My Australia-based sister is a nervous flyer and asked me what their record is like.
Mary Leaming, Stoke Newington
A. This eight-year-old airline, based in Mexico City, has based its business on the principles of easyJet, Ryanair and Southwest – the most fundamental of which is an obsession with safety. Like them, Interjet has never had a fatal accident, and I would not hesitate to fly on the airline from Mexico City to Havana, or anywhere else on the network.
Mexican air safety standards are excellent. The last fatal crash involving a major Mexican airline was in 1999 (for comparison, the last in the UK was 1989).
Interjet has a fleet of Airbus A320 jets, based partly at Mexico City’s main airport (very conveniently located within the city) and also at Toluca, the Mexican capital’s version of Stansted. Flights to Cuba leave from the “proper” Mexico City airport. They take about three-and-a-half hours. The lowest fare is just over $200 (£133) each way, including a very generous 50kg luggage allowance and free allocated seating. You can find out more at interjet.com.mx; to get the English-language version, at the top of the home screen set the “País de Compra” button to “USA”.
The main safety concern I have about your forthcoming trip is road safety. Risks are far higher in Mexico and Cuba than in the UK. The best defence is to take good-quality long-distance buses, or (in Cuba) the train.
For the avoidance of doubt: the Mexican airline has no connection with the Kingston-based inbound tourism firm, Interjet Tours.
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