Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris is to launch flights to the American southwest city of Phoenix with the introduction of non-stop flights to Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona's largest and busiest airport, from both Mexico City and Guadalajara. The new routes will be operated on a three times weekly basis from the fourth quarter of this year but details on the exact launch date and schedule have not yet been confirmed.
This marks the continued growth of Volaris’ international operations and the expansion of its US network to eleven destinations covering airports in California, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, Florida and now Arizona. Volaris made its debut in the US market in April 2009 and currently offers 100 flights a week across 19 different routes, mainly from Mexico City and Guadalajara but also with flight originating in Aguascalientes, León, Uruapan and Zacatecas.
The two new Volaris flights will place the carrier in direct competition with US Airways, which dominates capacity at Phoenix Sky Harbor International with a 41.5 per cent share of the available capacity this month; increasing to 50.3 per cent share when you also consider the activities of its regional partners. The carrier currently serves eight Mexican destinations from Phoenix and offers a twice daily service to Mexico City and a three times daily operation to Guadalajara (this market is served by both its mainline business and regional partner Mesa Airlines). The launch of flights by Volaris will mark the welcome return of competition and will be the first time the routes have been served by a Mexican carrier since Aeromexico closed its Phoenix service from Mexico City in January 2009 and Guadalajara in February 2008.
“The largest Mexican low-cost carrier starting operations in Arizona will clearly stimulate demand for air travel between the state and Mexico and foster economic and cultural exchanges," said Enrique Beltranena, Chief Executive Officer, Volaris. In 2012 an estimated 43,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Phoenix and Mexico City, while approximately 19,000 flew between the US city and Guadalajara.
"We are looking forward to an excellent partnership between Volaris and America's Friendliest Airport," said Danny Murphy, Director of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. "We hope this will be the first of many cities the airline will serve between Phoenix and Mexico." Alongside its existing flights to Mexico City and Guadalajara, US Airways offers Mexican links from Phoenix to Cancun, Hermosillo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and San Jose del Cabo (some flights are operated by regional partners Mesa and SkyWest), while Aeromexico Connect flies to Hermosillo.