Volaris is planning further capacity growth over the coming weeks despite a steady rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico after the country began to ease lockdown restrictions in June.
The airline said it has taken “advantage of the early signs of recovery particularly in the domestic market” by increasing capacity faster than its competitors.
In August, the ULCC plans to operate approximately 70% of its capacity measured by available seat miles (ASMs), compared with its previously intended schedule. This is up from 55% of its planned schedule in July, 37% in June and 11% in May.
The planned growth comes despite Mexico registering a record 8,438 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on July 23, the country’s highest daily total. The number of infected people is also likely to be significantly higher because of a lack of testing.
“For the ramp-up in June and further into the third quarter, Volaris has taken a breadth over depth approach to network recovery, focusing on marginal contribution of flights,” the airline said.
“By the end of June 2020 service restarted in 49% of domestic routes and 22% of US markets, albeit both at a lower frequency versus 2019.”
According to data published by OAG Schedules Analyser, Volaris is this week (w/c July 27) operating 336,984 scheduled seats, marginally fewer than the 345,624 being offered by Mexican counterpart Viva Aerobus. Flag carrier Aeromexico has 194,670 seats available.
The figures for the three airlines compare with 540,030 offered by Volaris during the same week in 2019, 307,110 by Viva Aerobus, and 508,919 by Aeromexico
Approximately 86% of Volaris capacity this week is on domestic routes although more international services are planned in August. The ULCC's CEO Enrique Beltranena has confirmed the carrier intends to connect Los Angeles (LAX) with seven Mexican destinations next month.
The airline will fly to LAX from Aguascalientes (AGU), Guadalajara (GDL), Leon (LEN), Mexico City (MEX), Morelia (MLM), Oaxaca (OAX) and Zacatecas (ZCL). Flights between GDL and Ontario (ONT) in Southern California will also resume.
During the second quarter of 2020, Volaris returned one A319 aircraft and incorporated one A320neo to its fleet. As of June 30, the ULCC’s fleet comprised 82 aircraft (seven A319s, 59 A320s and 16 A321s).
Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week