After troubled months earlier this year, Mexico’s aviation industry began taking small steps towards recovery in July as the country gradually relaxed its confinement policies and reopened its manufacturing sectors. In its August traffic report, ultra-low-cost airline Volaris posts even higher traffic results and claims to be leading the recovery of the local aviation industry.
While Mexico did not restrict domestic or international aviation, a drop in tourism and temporary halts in many manufacturing sectors added to widespread fears of COVID-19 to plunge local aviation to a fraction of what it was during 2019. The gradual economic reactivation is helping the sector bounce back from the low it faced between March and May 2020. In July, Mexican airlines reported strong month-on-month ramp ups in traffic. Volaris indicated that it had seen a 70.4 percent increase in traffic over the previous month, while Aeroméxico reported a 110.7 percent increase during that same period. Seeing the increase in demand, both airlines increased their capacity and reopened several routes. While other airlines have not published their traffic results for August, Volaris reported another month-on-month improvement in capacity over its July numbers.
The ultra-low-cost airline reported a 21.8 percent increase in capacity measured in available seat miles and a 20.8 percent increase in demand measured in revenue passenger miles in August compared to July. The airline also transported 1.2 million passengers, 21.6 percent more than in July. Volaris’ growing demand for air travel is thanks to its low-cost model, which allows it to capture passengers who would have traveled by bus. “While the domestic market capacity is shrinking by around a third due to restructuring processes at other Mexican carriers, our ultra-low-cost business model has allowed us to ramp-up more quickly and strengthen our competitive position,” said Enrique Beltranena, President and CEO of Volaris.
Volaris is still facing lower traffic than during 2019 but as the local aviation industry grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, the low-cost airline focuses on growing month to month. Over the past month, the airline restarted flights to most of its international destinations and in September, it will ramp up its capacity to 75 percent. “Volaris is leading Mexico’s aviation market recovery and supporting domestic tourism. During August, Volaris served 62 airports and 141 routes, covering 95 percent of airports and 75 percent of routes operated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Beltranera.