Now, let’s take a brief look at Volaris, Viva Aerobus, and Aeromexico, the Mexican carriers in the first quarter of 2022. The three airlines carried over 15 million passengers overall in the first three months of the year. Volaris and Viva Aerobus remained well over 2019 levels, fully bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic, while Aeromexico still has to recover from the crisis.
The Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris continues to be a success story in the aviation world. The company is carrying over 40% more passengers than in 2019; Volaris has invested heavily in attracting new travelers, launching new routes, receiving new aircraft, and taking advantage of the disappearance of Interjet and Aeromexico’s Chapter 11.
In the first quarter of 2022, Volaris carried 6.7 million passengers, heavily surpassing 2019 levels (by 40%) and 2021 levels (by 60.1%). Remember: in 2021, Volaris fully rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic and closed the year with more passengers than in 2019.
Volaris (as Viva Aerobus and Aeromexico) still has to release its first quarter financial results, although we can expect the airline to have quarterly losses. The first quarter of the year is Mexico’s low season traditionally, and added to this trend is the rise in fuel prices. Between January and March, Volaris paid US$3.15 per fuel gallon, a 63.2% increase compared to the same period last year.
Volaris’ load factors are 83.5% (86.2% domestically and 77.1% internationally).
The low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus has had an even more robust recovery than Volaris. Viva Aerobus has risen from being the fourth most important carrier in Mexico in 2019 (behind Volaris, Aeromexico, and Interjet) to become the second one.
In 2022’s first quarter, Viva Aerobus carried 4.2 million passengers, increasing by 77.5% of its traffic numbers compared to 2019 (and by 65.7% compared to 2021; like Volaris, Viva fully rebounded from the crisis last year).
Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO of Viva Aerobus said,
“During March, we continued to see solid demand trends in both domestic and international markets post-Omicron variant; however, we remain committed to maintaining a disciplined approach towards capacity, as reflected by our recovering load factors. Going forward, we should continue to match capacity to growing demand while seeking opportunities to continue to grow in our markets. In April, we will start operations of our new flights to Medellín from Mexico City and Cancun.”
During the quarter, Viva Aerobus’ load factors were 83.3% (86.0% domestically and 72.2% internationally).
The Mexican flag carrier emerged from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings during the first quarter of 2022. That was the biggest news for Aeromexico during the first three months of the year.
In terms of passengers, Aeromexico carried 4.1 million travelers. Aeromexico had an 81.6% recovery compared to 2019 levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, Aeromexico reached an agreement to incorporate nine new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft; two B737 MAX 8 and seven B737 MAX 9. The new aircraft are expected to be delivered between July 2022 and August 2023.
Aeromexico’s load factor during the quarter was 75.6% (77.7% domestic and 74.5% international).
Daniel Martínez Garbuno
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.