By Kylie Madry
MEXICO CITY, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Pilots and flight attendants of Mexican airline Aeromar will hold off on a possible strike despite being owed millions of dollars, their unions said Tuesday, hours before a deadline to reach an agreement with the company was set to expire.
It was a positive sign for the 35-year-old regional airline after the Mexico City International Airport on Friday confiscated two of Aeromar's hangars following its "refusal to comply with payment obligations" of some 500 million pesos ($26.7 million), according to the airport.
Flight attendants union ASSA said it had chosen to hold off on the strike "for the sake of safeguarding the company once again".
Aeromar met with airport officials Monday to present a payment plan, Mexico's transportation ministry said, adding that its operations at Mexico City continued to operate normally. The carrier, which operates 10 ATR turboprop planes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Aeromar's plight has attracted attention from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is also working to revive the brand of defunct carrier Mexicana to launch a military-run commercial airline.
He said in October that the government was willing to help Aeromar to pay off debts owed to the country's tax authority and to its employees in installments.
Several of the company's executives met with the flight attendants' union on Monday, the union said, and discussed the company's financial situation as well as the "potential" entrance of an investor.
The airline's crew members voted not to strike in separate assemblies on Monday, their unions said, instead extending a deadline to reach an agreement with the company to May 12.
"We continue to demand (Aeromar) pay its debts owed to pilots," union leader Jose Humberto Gual said in a statement. ($1 = 18.6965 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Jamie Freed)