Volaris is closing in 2021 with a fleet of 101 aircraft. Most of them (97) fly with the Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier, but some are operating with Volaris’ branches in Central America (it has in Costa Rica and El Salvador). In 2022, the airline expects to further increase its fleet. Let’s investigate further.
A strong 2021
Volaris had a remarkable 2021. The airline grew in the domestic and international markets alike. According to data provided by the Mexican government, Volaris posted a 26% domestic passenger growth in November (versus November 2019). Internationally, it increased its traffic levels by 19%.
The low-cost carrier increased its market share in Mexico, filling the gap Interjet left. Nowadays, it can be stated, without a doubt, that Volaris has become Mexico’s number one airline.
Moreover, Volaris managed to get back to profitability in the second and third quarters of 2021. It was one of the few airlines worldwide to do it. In Mexico, Viva Aerobus also posted net profits in those quarters. We will have to wait until February to review Volaris’ fourth quarter results, but the airline should remain profitable. Mexico has not imposed travel restrictions, and there wasn’t a heavy impact on demand due to the Omicron variant.
Instead, Mexico’s Tourism board projects a 22.5% seat increase in 2022 compared to 2019 levels and 2.1% more flights next year.
New aircraft coming
Mexico’s three main airlines are back to fleet growth mode. Volaris, Aeromexico, and Viva Aerobus have orders with Airbus and Boeing and expect to receive several new aircraft in the next few years.
Airbus will deliver at least 12 airplanes to Volaris in 2022. Nonetheless, if demand requires so, Volaris could anticipate the reception of new aircraft throughout the year. Currently, Volaris has unfilled orders for 132 aircraft, according to Airbus’ latest Order & Deliveries data. The airline still has to receive 33 A320neo and 99 A321neo aircraft.
Meanwhile, Aeromexico aims to increase its 122 aircraft fleet up to 154 by 2025 (and could place an order to replace its E1 fleet). Viva Aerobus still has to receive 38 planes in the next few years.
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Mexico’s incredible recovery
In 2021, no other country had a passenger recovery like Mexico. By November 2021, the country finished with a 95% traffic recovery overall. Both domestic and international markets are almost back to 2019 levels, even when one Mexican carrier ceased operations (Interjet) and another one is in Chapter 11 (Aeromexico).
Mexico’s bounce-back has been strong due to a lack of travel restrictions in the country. Additionally, the low-cost Mexican airlines have effectively attracted new passengers. Many travelers are shifting from bus lines to airlines, and Volaris and Viva Aerobus have increased their traffic levels by over 20% compared to 2019.
The US-Mexico market has also recovered nicely, despite Mexico being in Category 2 with the Federal Aviation Administration.
US carriers have grown 18% in terms of passengers carried in November 2021 versus 2019 levels. Volaris has increased by 19%, but Viva Aerobus and Aeromar have had mind-blowing growths of 392% and 513% respectively.
What do you think about Volaris’ recovery in 2021? Do you expect it to continue in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.