EconomyFinancialViva Aerobus and Volaris 'take off' in May and...

Viva Aerobus and Volaris 'take off' in May and exceed pre COVID-19 levels

The airlines Viva Aerobus and Volaris overcame the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their respective passenger traffic, at least during May, when they registered levels that exceed the flows prior to the health crisis. With a positive trend in the domestic market, the outlook is positive for both companies, which, however, will face a particular challenge in the international segment.

The greatest rebound occurred in the case of Viva Aerobus, which with a traffic of 1.34 million passengers, reached a historical maximum for one month, also growing 35% compared to May 2019. This trend is maintained in the accumulated annual, adding more than 5 million passengers, an increase of 16.7% compared to the same period of 2019.

A similar case has been that of Volaris, which transported 2.1 million passengers during May, a flow 12% higher than in 2019. However, in the accumulated of the first five months of the year, air traffic was 8.3 million users, a 4.6% decrease compared to pre-pandemic levels.

For specialists, this dynamism responds to an impulse from two of the key segments of both airlines: tourism and that of visitors to friends and family (known as VFR, for its acronym in English), whose demand is expected to continue towards the summer.

“I think it will continue because the capacities of the airlines for the summer are above what they were before the pandemic at this time. Prices are practically recovered, so it is a sign that there is demand”, explains Jonathan Félix, analyst by Verum Casa de Bolsa.

International market, challenging

Although both airlines have been oriented to take advantage of the volumes of the domestic segment, the international market has also shown strong signs of growth.

In the case of Volaris, this segment grew 24.6% in May compared to 2019, reaching around 445,000 passengers transported. Meanwhile, although Viva Aerobus did not break down its figures for last month, the April data showed a growth of more than three times compared to 2019, going from 39,479 international passengers to more than 147,000 last month.

This growth has benefited mainly from the US market, by trends such as vaccine tourism that has triggered trips to several cities in Texas, for example. However, the recent downgrading of Mexico’s air safety – which went from Category 1 to 2 by the Federal Aviation Administration – could limit this dynamism, by preventing Mexican airlines from adding new routes and frequencies to the United States.

“Although this month was not affected by the reduction of category 1 to 2 to Mexican aviation by the FAA, the increase in international flights may not be as high as originally anticipated,” explains Alejandro González in an analysis. , Intercam analyst.

In light of the FAA’s announcement made a few weeks ago, both airlines expressed their intention to focus on the domestic market, and on some international destinations in Central and South America, where they have already begun plans to operate in Colombia in particular.

While the authorities work to return to Category 1, specialists consider that both airlines have good conditions to remain competitive in the United States with the routes they already serve, and where they could establish themselves in the long term before the departure of some players, such as Interjet.

“They must try to find both the financial and operational way to capture the routes that Interjet had at the time, and have those routes more mature. Right now we are seeing that the first to take this market is the one that is going to win, so its response capacity will determine its permanence ”, concludes Félix.

Volaris has been affected on 29 routes due to the downgrading to Category 2

The airline has allocated the newly incorporated aircraft to the domestic and Central American market, given the impossibility of adding them to its routes to the United States.

#Chronicle: What is it like to fly at AIFA six months after its opening?

Although the AIFA constitutes a functional alternative to flying from the State of Mexico or Hidalgo, there is still a large gap for it to become an option that relieves the saturation of the AICM.

Aeromexico reports profit for the first time since the pandemic began

During the third quarter of the year, the airline registered 21,401 million pesos in income, which left a net profit of 210.8 million pesos.

The reduction of operations in the AICM for the winter will fall on Aeroméxico

While the 'slots' of some airlines were reduced according to the 15% cut in operations announced in August, others remained unchanged and even increased their schedules.

LAST MINUTE: AFAC changes director with a view to recovering Category 1

At the instruction of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, General Miguel Enrique Vallín Osuna was appointed as the new director general of the Federal Civil Aviation Agency.