Piloting Aeromexico through a complex transformation
“AlixPartners provided me with the opportunity to help my home country’s flag carrier successfully exit bankruptcy and complete a major transformation.”
The Covid-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented decline in air travel demand, which had a profound impact on the airline industry. I was part of the AlixPartners team that helped Aeromexico, Mexico’s national airline, navigate through this turbulent period and a Chapter 11 restructuring.
As a native Spanish speaker who grew up in Mexico, I was uniquely suited to contribute to this engagement, and I was entrusted with supporting the airline’s finance team with cashflow forecasting. This entailed preparing 13-week cashflow forecasts and reporting variances to the constituents on a weekly basis. Additionally, it involved forecasting monthly cash runway and vendor management.
Throughout the first 20 months of the engagement, our team worked with management to restructure and turnaround the company, ranging from developing a new network planning tool to negotiating with key stakeholders.
After those initial 20 months, the pivotal bankruptcy emergence date was selected. However, our work was far from over. To successfully exit bankruptcy, Aeromexico needed to execute the issuance of new equity and new debt totaling well over $1 billion USD. This transaction entailed numerous conditions precedent and more than 100 wire transfers – all of which had to be completed on the emergence date. Aeromexico also faced challenges surrounding the fiscal complexities of a transaction involving institutions from multiple countries. Given my interactions throughout the case with all the parties involved – law firms, investment banks, and consultants – the team selected me to lead the preparation and management of the exit transaction.
In the buildup to emergence date, we diligently gathered all the necessary information for each party involved and ensured stakeholder alignment. On the official day, we successfully completed all the requirements for Aeromexico’s triumphant emergence from bankruptcy.
The entire engagement was conducted remotely, which tested my team’s resiliency and their ability to collaborate. Amidst these challenges, I witnessed the remarkable cohesion and dedication of my AlixPartners colleagues. Everyone maintained consistent communication, fully aware that issues in one aspect of the project could have ripple effects on others.
As I reflect on the lengthy project, I cannot help but be grateful for my AlixPartners colleagues, who were always willing to provide their assistance and expertise. The relationships I cultivated with them extend far beyond the completion of the engagement, resulting in enduring friendships and valuable career mentorship.