Mexico's Interjet grounds 11 Russian-made planes over safety

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Air carrier Interjet has grounded half its 22 Russian-made Superjet100 planes after doing a mandatory safety inspection of the aircraft, Mexico's civil aviation agency said Wednesday.

In a statement, the agency said 11 jets will be out of service while unspecified measures are taken to guarantee their safety and restore them to flight status. The other 11 were found to be in "perfect condition," it said.

The agency did not say what fixes or modifications were being done, but it said the work would be completed in January.

Also Wednesday, the federal Communications and Transportation Department announced that it had authorized Interjet to add an Airbus A321 jetliner with more seating capacity than the Superjet100 to fly 12 domestic and international routes and mitigate passenger inconvenience.

"Interjet informed (the civil aviation agency) that it has signed cooperation agreements with other national airlines, which will assist in transportation to the various destinations that have ceased to be served by the Superjet100," the department said in a statement.

Interjet has had to cancel some flights during the holiday travel season due to the safety inspection order issued Dec. 23 by Russian authorities after cracks were found in a part on one of the Sukhoi planes.

Interjet is one of the biggest customers for the Superjet.

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