Why Multiple Mexican Carriers Are Eying Flights To Colombia

Volaris and Viva Aerobus, the two leading Mexican low-cost carriers, are expanding their international connectivity. They expect to receive authorization from the Colombian government to launch new routes from Mexico City and Cancun to Bogotá and Medellín.

Volaris will operate four routes between Mexico and Colombia. Photo: Volaris

What do we know?

Yesterday, both companies confirmed that they have filed for permission to operate commercial flights for the first time in their history to Colombia.

Viva Aerobus wants to fly the route Mexico City-Bogota, with up to seven weekly frequencies. The airline would use its Airbus A320 and A321 fleet for the task.

Meanwhile, Volaris is looking to operate four different routes. These are the routes Volaris is looking for:

  1. Mexico City-Bogota, with four weekly flights
  2. Mexico City-Medellín with two weekly flights
  3. Cancun-Bogotá with three weekly flights
  4. Cancun-Medellín with two weekly flights

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Volaris has already stated that it wants to fly these routes using its fleet of Airbus A320-233 and Airbus A320-271N.

The Colombian government will hold a private online meeting on February 25 with both companies. In this meeting, the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority could give both companies permission for the flights’ operation.

Viva Aerobus
Viva Aerobus expects to increase its international connectivity by launching the route Mexico City-Bogota. Photo: Getty Images

What are the airlines saying?

In a statement sent to Simple Flying, Viva Aerobus said,

“Currently, Viva Aerobus is filing permission with the Colombian Civil Aviation Authorities to operate the route Mexico City-Bogota. Viva Aerobus reaffirms its compromise to strengthen the Mexican domestic and international connectivity serving strategic destinations and identifying new market opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Volaris is currently not giving any update on the subject. The airline is on a quiet period this week, as it is holding any information until it publishes its 2020 fourth-quarter results on February 18.

Bogota Airport
The Colombian market is very important for the Mexican aviation industry. Photo: Getty Images

So, why Colombia?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Colombia was the most important aviation market in South America for Mexican travelers. Many airlines served different routes between both countries. For instance, you still have Aeromexico flying to Bogotá and Medellín from Mexico City; Avianca connects Bogota with Mexico City and Cancún; LATAM flies from Medellin and Bogotá to Mexico City, and Wingo flies from Bogotá to Cancun.

Nevertheless, one key airline had the largest amount of routes between both countries: Interjet.

Interjet flew from Mexico City and Cancun to three Colombian cities, Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena de Indias. Before the pandemic, Interjet held nearly 40% of the passenger traffic between Mexico and Colombia.

In 2019, over 1.5 million passengers flew between both countries, said the Transportation Ministry in Mexico. The pandemic brought down the connectivity, as the routes between both countries lost 71.4% of their traffic in 2020.

Now there’s a gap in the market. Interjet has non-officially ceased operations since December 11, 2020, when it last flew commercially. But even before that, Interjet stopped flying internationally due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For Viva Aerobus, Colombia would be its third international country. It already flies to the US and Cuba.

Meanwhile, Volaris currently flies to the US, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Would you like to fly with Volaris and Viva Aerobus to Colombia? Let us know in the comments.