During 2021’s third quarter, Volaris thrives and Aeromexico recovers. That’s the main takeaway from the financial results of both Mexican carriers. Viva Aerobus remains to publish its third-quarter results, but, in the meantime, let’s analyze Aeromexico and Volaris.
For the first time since the pandemic struck the world, Aeromexico delivered an operating profit. The airline obtained US$16.2 million. The achievement of this milestone represents an improvement of nearly US$74 million compared to 2021’s second quarter, said the carrier in a statement.
Despite delivering an operating profit, Aeromexico still had a consolidated net loss of US$111 million in the quarter. Aeromexico is still carrying 26.9% fewer passengers than t did in 2019, and revenue is still 28% below its pre-pandemic numbers. Nevertheless, expenses are also 24.4% below the same period of 2019, “reflecting our cost transformation initiatives as well as the capacity reductions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The cost per Available Seat Kilometer (CASK) was US$0.068 dollars, a 6.8% decrease compared to the second quarter of 2021. Nonetheless, it was a 1.5% increase versus 2019, despite a 26.9% reduction in capacity.
Grupo Aeromexico ended the third quarter with a cash balance of US$930 million dollars, including restricted cash. Most of this amount comes from the Debtor-in-possession funding Aeromexico obtained through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. So, Aeromexico recovers, and Volaris thrives?
What about Volaris?
For the second quarter in a row, Volaris posted a net profit. The Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier obtained US$75 million. In 2021’s second quarter, Volaris earned US$78 million. So far in the year, Volaris has had a net profit of US$114 million, and it is one of the few carriers worldwide to be back in the black despite not having any government support.
So far, Volaris is already carrying more passengers than in 2019, with a 5.5% growth between January and September. The airline is also deploying 20% more capacity than two years ago, benefitting from the reduced operations of Aeromexico and the disappearance of Interjet.
During the quarter, Volaris had revenues worth US$631 million, a 34.8% increase compared to the same period in 2019. It had a load factor of 85.4%. Volaris’ average fare was 1,134 pesos (US$55, approximately), while ancillary revenue per passenger was 805 pesos (US$40), an increase of 49%.
Ancillary revenue had such a growth following Volaris’ introduction of several new services charging for first luggage, seat selection, and having more flexibility. According to the airline, ancillary revenue is worth 42% of the total revenue (versus 32% in 2019).
Aeromexico and Volaris’ fleets
Both Aeromexico and Volaris’ fleets grew during 2021’s third quarter. Aeromexico finished the quarter with 122 planes. It has 18 Boeing 787, five B737-700, 36 B737-800, ten B737 MAX 8, six B737 MAX 9, and 47 Embraer E190. Between July and September, Aeromexico received two Boeing 737-800s and two B737 MAX 9. The average age of Aeromexico’s fleet was 9.7 years.
Meanwhile, Volaris finished the quarter with a fleet of 94 aircraft. It had six Airbus A319, 72 A320, and 16 A321. Some of these planes operate with Volaris’ branches in Costa Rica and El Salvador. During the quarter, Volaris received two new A320neo airplanes. The average age of Volaris’ fleet was 5.6 years old. Moreover, Volaris expects to finish 2021 with a fleet of 101 planes and have 113 by the end of 2022.
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.