The Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris has officially taken delivery of its 100th jet. Volaris received an Airbus A320neo, registration XA-VSH, earlier this month. This new aircraft is part of an ambitious growth strategy that will allow Volaris to consolidate as Mexico’s largest airline. Let’s investigate further.
XA-VSH is an Airbus A320neo ordered by SMBC Aviation Capital on December 17, according to ch-aviation’s database. The aircraft is powered by PW1127G-JM engines and had its first flight on March 4, 2021.
Volaris’ A320neo has 186 seats onboard in a single class 3-3 distribution. The first row has premium seats, though.
According to radarbox.com, Volaris first received the aircraft by the end of October. It flew from Reykjavík to Mexico City via Gander on October 19. Additionally, XA-VSH held its first commercial flight on November 24, between Mexico City and Ciudad del Carmen.
Nonetheless, just this week, Volaris formally introduced the aircraft via social media. The low-cost carrier is celebrating the arrival of its 100th airplane by putting domestic trips at 100 Mexican pesos (nearly US$5) and international trips at US$100.
Volaris’ new A320neo has a special livery. On the side, it reads, in Spanish, “100 planes, so more people can travel well.”
— Volaris (@flyvolaris) December 8, 2021
Volaris’ fleet plans going forward
The Mexican low-cost carrier is Airbus’ largest customer in the Latin American region. Currently, Volaris has unfilled orders for 132 aircraft, according to Airbus’ latest Order & Deliveries data. Volaris still has to receive 33 A320neo aircraft and 99 A321neo.
During the Dubai Airshow last month, Volaris acquired 39 new A321neos along with the massive Indigo Partners order for 255 aircraft. Additionally, the airline renegotiated with Airbus changing 20 A320neos to A321neos, upgauging its fleet by adding 880 additional seats.
Volaris has been increasing its fleet despite the COVID-19 pandemic. During the final quarter of 2019, prior to the crisis, Volaris had 82 aircraft. Currently, the airline expects to end the year with 101 units and 2022 with 113. The Mexican low-cost will have increased its fleet by 41% in three years.
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We’ve spoken previously about the incredible recovery from the Mexican low-cost carriers. They have been able to bounce back and are currently carrying more passengers than in 2019 every month.
Moreover, they have expanded their connectivity, launching new routes. For instance, in 2021, Volaris started flying from Mexico City and Cancun to Bogota, Colombia, arriving in South America for the first time.
Between January and November 2021, Volaris has carried 21.8 million passengers. This number is practically the same as the airline carried during the whole of 2019 when it had 21.9 million travelers.
In the last few months, the airline has almost been carrying 2.5 million passengers; since December is high season, the airline could easily end up taking nearly three million travelers and close the year between 24 and 25 million passengers, which could be an incredible growth given the current circumstances worldwide.
Volaris definitely took advantage of the crisis. The cease of operations of Interjet and Aeromexico’s Chapter 11, plus the lack of travel restrictions in Mexico, have allowed Volaris to increase its market share and become the country’s leading airline.
Have you traveled onboard Volaris? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments below.