Viva Aerobus To Open Sixth Base, Launches Three Routes

The planned base in Mérida has been described as a “turning point” for connectivity in Mexico’s Yucatan state.

Credit: Viva Aerobus
From left to right: Leonardo Alejandro Vales Lehne, director of routes and clients at ASUR; Juan Carlos Zuazua, Viva Aerobus CEO;  Mauricio Vila Dosal, governor of Yucatán; and Michelle Fridman, head of the Secretariat of Tourism of Yucatan.

Viva Aerobus is to open a new base at Mérida International Airport (MID) in Mexico’s Yucatan state, which will become the airline’s sixth base in the country.

The ULCC plans to station two aircraft at the airport from December, increasing to three from 2023. Three new routes are being launched, taking the total number of services offered to and from Mérida to 10.

“Adding Mérida as our sixth base of operations will not only help us meet our growth goals; it will also boost tourism and economic development in the region,” Viva Aerobus CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua said.

“We see good market opportunities in the city, where we have the confidence and preference of passengers. So far this year, traffic to/from Merida has increased by 52% compared to January-July 2021, totaling more than 595,000 passengers.”

The first of Viva Aerobus’ three new routes from Mérida will begin on Sept. 26, operating daily to Mexico City Toluca (TLC). Two more services will launch in December to Guanajuato (BJX) and Queretaro (QRO), both of which will operate 2X-weekly. Flights to BJX begin on Dec. 16 followed by QRO two days later. All three routes are unserved.

Michelle Fridman, head of the Secretariat of Tourism of Yucatan, described Viva Aerobus’ new base as a “turning point for Yucatan and its connectivity,” saying that the airline’s expansion from the region would increase frequencies, open up new domestic destinations, and later link MID to international points.

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, Viva Aerobus is already the largest carrier by capacity operating from Mérida. For the week commencing Aug. 29, the airline is offering 12,472 departure seats from the airport, giving it a 32.3% share of the available capacity. Volaris is second, with a 31.5% share, followed by Aeromexico with 28.6%.

The new Viva Aerobus base joins the carrier’s existing bases in Monterrey (MTY), Guadalajara (GDL), Cancun (CUN), Mexico City (MEX) and Tijuana (TIJ).

Alongside the Mérida growth, the ULCC is launching three new routes from Mexico City’s new Felipe Ángeles international Airport (NLU). Flights to Puerto Escondido (PXM) began on Sept. 1, with Acapulco (ACA) starting on Sept. 2 and Oaxaca (OAX) the following day.

“We have already added six routes to/from [Felipe Ángeles], operating 240 flights per month and making more than half a million seats available to travelers per year,” Zuazua said. “We will continue working to strengthen air connectivity in Mexico.”

On Aug. 26, Routes reported that Volaris is also launching six new routes from NLU in September. On Sept. 15, daily service will begin to Guadalajara (GDL) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR) alongside 3X-weekly routes to Puerto Escondido and La Paz (LAP).

Two more routes will start the following day, connecting NLU with both Los Cabos (SJD) and Oaxaca four times per week.

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