Ten flight attendants from the troubled Mexicana airlines launched a sexy aviation-themed calendar Thursday in a bid to call attention to their own plight and that of their airline. The airline, which is one of the oldest in the world, filed for bankruptcy in August and suspended operations.
The move came after Mexicana's announcement that a restructuring proposal might allow it to resume some flights by mid-December. Under the plan, just 30 percent of the company's personnel would be rehired.
The 2011 calendar features glossy shots of the flight attendants, clad in bikinis and striking various racy poses.
10-year Mexicana veteran Coral Perez spearheaded the move.
"It occurred to me because we all needed money, and I thought that with so many pretty girls (among Mexicana's staff) there were bound to be some who'd be interested," she said.
Each women forked out money from her own pockets to help cover the production costs of 100,000 pesos (about $8,000).
"The goal was to try to help ourselves because we lost everything overnight," said one of the women, 26-year-old Maribel Zavala.
The calendar was a hit in Mexico, and the first run of 1,000 was sold out even before Thursday's launch. A second edition of 3,000 calendars — which retail for 149 pesos, or about $12, apiece — is in the works.
Mexicana filed for Commercial concurs (Mexican law equivalent to US Chapter 11) and US Chapter 15 on August 3, 2010 in both the U.S. and Mexico, following labor union disputes; a debt of US$125 million was reported. Subsequently, the airline scaled back its operations, suspending ticket sales and announcing termination of selected routes. In early August 2010, the airline offered pilots and flight attendants a stake in the business in exchange for new labor terms.
On August 24, a Mexican consortium called Tenedora K announced that it had bought 95% of Nuevo Grupo Aeronáutico; pilots would hold the other 5%.
After 89 years of service, Mexicana suspended all operations at noon CDT on August 28, 2010. Aeroméxico offered discounted tickets to passengers stranded by Mexicana's suspension of operations. American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines also offered assistance, providing help to passengers between the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Mexico.