The Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier Volaris released the financial results for the first half of 2023 this week. Volaris posted total operating revenues worth $1.5 billion and had total operating expenses of $1.49 billion.
How did Volaris do?
The Mexican carrier is soaring high in terms of passengers carried. During the first six months of the year, it had 16.55 million booked passengers, a 14.6% increase versus the same period in 2022. Last year, the airline closed with over 31 million passengers, and unless something changes, it is going to break that record in 2023.
The airline posted a $20 million EBIT, with a 1.3% margin. Nonetheless, Volaris closed the first half of the year with a $65 million net loss.
Enrique Beltranena, president and Chief Executive Officer, said,
“The company’s results are in line with our full-year outlook, boosted by lower jet fuel costs and a stronger Mexican peso. We will continue to focus on delivering Total Operating Revenues between 3.2 and 3.4 billion dollars and an EBITDAR margin of 29% to 31%.”
At the end of the first half, Volaris had a fleet of 123 aircraft, an increase of ten planes compared to the same period last year. The Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier also has branches in Costa Rica and El Salvador.
The average age of Volaris’ fleet was of 5.5 years, and an average seating capacity of 194 passengers per plane. 57% of the airline’s fleet was New Engine Option (NEO) models. Volaris plans to increase its fleet to 127 aircraft by the end of 2023, although it is aware of potential delivery delays, which could push at least two planes until 2024.
Moreover, during the Paris Air Show 2023, Volaris and Airbus announced an increase in the airline’s firm order.
For the next few months, Volaris expects solid bookings that will further validate the resilience of the VFR traffic in Mexico and the robust demand between Central America and the United States.
“For the second half of the year, the seasonally stronger semester, we are looking forward to several top-line tailwinds, including solid booking curves, stable international fares, a return of Category 1, strong Central American growth, a more solid domestic network, and a ramp-up of ancillary projects,” added Mr. Beltranena.
The bottom line
Volaris continues to be one of the strongest performers in Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline has effectively seized every opportunity presented following the COVID-19 pandemic. While volatile in its stock price, it has an ambitious growth plan that includes increasing and transitioning to a more fuel-efficient fleet, growing in Mexico, Central America, and, when the time is right, the United States.
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.