Volaris El Salvador Granted Final Approval For US Routes

The airline plans to serve three US destinations from March. 

Credit: Joe Pries

The new El Salvador unit of Mexican LCC Volaris has secured final approval to launch flights to the US.

Volaris El Salvador, which began commercial operations in September 2021, has been awarded a foreign air carrier permit from US Transportation Department (DOT), paving the way for it to enter the El Salvador-US market.

The airline’s first route will link San Salvador (SAL) and New York John F Kennedy (JFK) from March 16. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that flights will be offered four times per week.

Service to Washington Dulles (IAD) will start on March 25, followed by Los Angeles (LAX) on April 1. The two routes from San Salvador will be operated 3X-weekly and 7X-weekly respectively.

Volaris’ Costa Rica subsidiary currently serves all three US destinations from San José (SJO), with each operating via San Salvador.

Volaris El Salvador—also known as Vuela El Salvador—will compete in the New York JFK market with Avianca and Delta Air Lines, while United Airlines connects San Salvador and Newark (EWR).

The same three carriers also serve SAL-LAX nonstop, and Avianca offers additional access to the Los Angeles market through its San Salvador-Ontario (ONT) flights. Competition on the SAL-IAD sector will be provided by Avianca and United.

Volaris set up the El Salvador offshoot in 2018 and received its air operator’s certificate in August 2021. The Mexican company said the launch formed part of a strategy to broaden its ULCC model in Central America by offering low fares and point-to-point services in the region.

Volaris El Salvador’s first commercial flights began in September with a route to Mexico City Juarez (MEX) using Airbus A320 aircraft. OAG data shows that the airline currently offers three routes, flying daily to Mexico City, 2X-weekly to Cancun (CUN) and 3X-weekly to San Pedro Sula (SAP).