Mexican Airlines Expect Bright Future
The world is recovering from the pandemic. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts that by 2024 a total of 4.0 billion people will fly, surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels. Mexican airlines, which saw very different pandemic experiences, are also taking off.
The recovery of the aviation industry has been a concern since the start of the pandemic, which continued until this year with the appearance of Omicron continuing to make flights less accessible. However, “the trajectory for the recovery in passenger numbers from COVID-19 was not changed by the Omicron variant. People want to travel. And when travel restrictions are lifted, they return to the skies. There is still a long way to go to reach a normal state of affairs, but the forecast for the evolution in passenger numbers gives good reason to be optimistic,” said Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA.
During 2021, passenger traffic remained at 47 percent of 2019’s levels but it is expected to improve to 83 percent in 2022, 94 percent in 2023, 103 percent in 2024 and 111 percent in 2025, according to IATA. But for this to happen, the industry is calling for the removal of all barriers to travel, the implementation of widespread pre-departure antigen testing and the accelerated ease of travel restrictions.
While Mexican airlines were also heavily hit by the pandemic, the sector is bouncing back.
During 2021, national airlines saw a total of 54.41 million passengers, 58.6 percent more than in 2020, according to the Federal Agency of Civil Aviation’s (AFAC) latest indicators.
Ultra-low-cost airline Volaris saw the highest number of passengers in 2021, a total of 22.23 million according to AFAC. These positive figures allowed it to see an increase in revenues of 72.6 percent and of Ebitdar of 71.3 percent in 4Q2021 versus 4Q2020. The airline’s net profits increased by 73.8 percent during the period. "We have a positive long-term vision, which contemplates increasing Volaris’ fleet, which would validate its leadership in passenger traffic in Mexico and make it an important competitor at the international level,” said the airline in a MONEX report.
Mexico’s other ultra-low-cost airline Viva Aerobus is already flying above its 2019 levels. In 2021, it flew 27 percent more passengers than in 2019. The airline saw revenue growth of 75.1 percent and an Ebitda margin of 38.5 percent in 4Q2021 compared to 4Q2019. Viva Aerobus also increased its fleet from 36 to 55 aircraft. "2021 was an exciting year for VivaAerobus, marking our 15th anniversary and recognized as the “Airline of Value 2021”-by Air Transport World, a reflection of our solid ultra-low-cost business model. During the year, we strengthened our position as one of the fastest-growing and most profitable airlines in the American continent, becoming the second-largest airline in the domestic market in Mexico,” said Juan Carlos Zuazua, General Director, Viva Aerobus.
After successfully navigating Chapter 11 proceedings, Aeroméxico reported an increase in revenues of 114.3 percent in 4Q2021 versus 4Q2020. Its passenger traffic, however, fell 4.8 percent compared to 4Q2020. The airline " will continue to expand operations safely in the coming months, in accordance with local regulations and customer demand and in full compliance with the highest standards and protocols. of health,” said Aeroméxico in its 4Q2020 report.
Other megatrends will continue to disrupt the aerospace sector. Find more about them in Mexico Aerospace Forum 2022, an online event that will take place on April 27-29 hosted by Mexico Business. Mexico Aerospace Forum 2022 will bring to the table industry leaders and decision makers from numerous sectors of the aviation and aerospace industries. To buy a ticket, click on the banner!
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