Avianca and Viva Air are increasing service between secondary airports in Colombia and Mexico’s capital Mexico City.
Star Alliance member Avianca plans to begin serving Mexico City Juarez (MEX) from Cali (CLO) on March 27, followed by from Medellin (MDE) two days later. Both of the routes will operate three times per week.
The services were first announced last August although at the time Avianca did not confirmed when the flights would start or the number of weekly frequencies. The growth forms part of the airline’s ambition to open 50 new routes in three years.
OAG Schedules Analyser data shows Avianca will compete with Aeromexico and Viva Air between Medellin and Mexico City. Viva entered the MDE-MEX market in August 2021, filling a gap left by the grounding of InterJet.
Although Cali-Mexico City is currently unserved, Viva plans to begin flying the route from March 23, offering three round trips per week using Airbus A320s. InterJet previously offered a 4X-weekly summer service until August 2019.
Viva has also announced a new nonstop connection between Cartagena (CTG) and Mexico City, earmarked for a May 4 launch. The ULCC will provide three flights per week and expects to carry almost 50,000 passengers during its first year of operation.
Cartagena-Mexico City is another market left without scheduled flights following the exit of InterJet.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Avianca, InterJet and Aeromexico were the market leaders between Colombia and Mexico, collectively controlling 96% of the 1.7 million scheduled seats during 2019, OAG data shows.
However, with the ongoing suspension of InterJet’s operations, carriers have been jostling for position as a number of new operators have entered the fray. Viva began offering Colombia-Mexico service in June 2021, followed by Viva Aerobus last August. Volaris added its first services in October.
During January 2022, Avianca and Aeromexico collectively offer about 60% of the total two-way capacity between the countries, with Viva, Viva Aerobus and Volaris providing the remainder
In total this month, there are 169,000 two-way seats in the Colombia-Mexico market, down slightly on the 172,000 available in January 2020 before the onset of the pandemic.