Viva Aerobus: Another Mexican Airline Back In The Black

Viva Aerobus reported a profit in the first half of 2021. The Mexican low-cost carrier had a net income of US$8 million (162 million Mexican pesos) between January and June, becoming the second airline to be back in the black in the country, following the steps of Volaris. Let’s investigate further.

Viva Aerobus
Viva Aerobus turned back to profitability in 2021’s first half. Photo: Getty Images

A look at Viva Aerobus’ results

Viva Aerobus has completely rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has the airline carried more passengers in these six months than it did in 2019’s first half, but it also has generated more revenue.

In 2021’s first semester, Viva Aerobus had 6,433,000 booked passengers; that’s a 19.3% increase compared to 2019. The carrier had total revenue of US$394 million, a whopping 50.5% increase compared to its pre-pandemic levels.

The airline said,

“Viva Aerobus maintained strong dynamics in booked passengers. For the first time in Viva Aerobus’ history, the number of booked passengers per month exceeded the one million mark for four months in a row (March 2021 to June 2021).”

Viva Aerobus Getty
Viva Aerobus has been quickly growing in 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

Viva enhanced its liquidity

During 2021’s second quarter, Viva recorded a positive net cash flow. Four reasons account for Viva’s success. The first one is that Viva had total recovery of its capacity in terms of Available Seat Miles.

Also, Viva Aerobus significantly improved its unit revenues by 26.4%; additionally, it obtained USD$150 million in funding from CarVal Investors. The carrier ended the quarter with USD$180 million in cash.

Viva Aerobus’ fleet plan

The three leading Mexican airlines, Volaris, Grupo Aeroméxico, and Viva Aerobus, have strong fleet plans going forward. Volaris is set to receive up to 25 aircraft in the next two years; Aeroméxico will take delivery of up to 40 Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliners; Viva Aerobus is not left behind. According to the ch-aviation database, Viva will take delivery of 41 Airbus A321-200neo in the next few years.

As of June 30, 2021, Viva received one out of four A321neo aircraft scheduled for delivery this year. The airline currently has a fleet of 48 aircraft (ten more than last year).

Moreover, Viva has the most modern fleet in Mexico and second in North America, with an average age of 4.4 years. It is composed of 20 Airbus 320ceo, 20 A320neo, four A321ceo, and four A321neo.

Viva Aerobus
Viva Aerobus has a fleet of 48 aircraft. Photo: Simple Flying | Daniel Martínez Garbuno.

Two Mexican airlines back in the black

Both Volaris and Viva Aerobus are back in the black following the most terrible year for commercial aviation. Volaris reported a net income of US$78 million in 2021’s second quarter. Plus, it had an all-time high daily cash generation.

On the other hand, Aeromexico has not had the same financial luck. During 2021’s second quarter, the carrier posted a US$138 million net loss. Aeromexico’s last net income happened in 2019’s third quarter when it generated approximately US$3 million.

The low-cost carriers are taking advantage of the current market environment. Mexico lost an airline when Interjet ceased operations. Therefore, Viva Aerobus and Volaris swiftly entered and have filled the gap. Meanwhile, Aeromexico hasn’t reacted as quickly because it’s facing its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.

Did you expect two Mexican airlines to get back to profitability in 2021? Let us know in the comments.