Viva Aerobus Seeks To Expand Colombia Connectivity

The Mexican carrier's application for a new route to Bogota follows a record year for passenger traffic in Colombia.

Credit: Joe Pries

Viva Aerobus’ network in Colombia looks set to increase with a fourth route to the country’s capital Bogota.

The Mexican ULCC has applied to Aerocivil, Colombia’s civil aviation authority, to operate flights between Monterrey (MTY) and Bogota’s El Dorado International (BOG) with three round trips per week using Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

The airline began serving Colombia’s capital in August 2021 with a route from Mexico City (MEX), followed by flights from Cancun (CUN) four months later. A third route to Bogota from Guadalajara (GDL) was launched in October 2022.

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Viva Aerobus offers daily service to Bogota from both Mexico City and Cancun at the present time, as well as two flights per week from Guadalajara.

In total, the carrier provides 5,952 two-way seats on Colombia-Mexico, making it the fifth-largest operator between the countries with a 10.5% capacity share.

Avianca has a 33% share of the market, followed by Viva Air on 17.2%. Aeromexico is third with 16.3% and Aero Republica is fourth on 13.7%. Volaris also serves the market nonstop and has a 9.2% capacity share.

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, the grounding of Mexico’s Interjet saw low-cost operators Viva Aerobus, Viva Air and Volaris enter the market in a bid to capture unserved demand.

If Viva Aerobus secures approval to begin Monterrey-Bogota flights, it will become the sole carrier to serve the destinations nonstop.

The airline’s application to increase service to Colombia comes as Aerocivil reported record passenger figures for 2022. In the first 11 months of the year, almost 43.6 million passengers flew to and from the country’s airports. This compares with 41.3 million during the 2019 calendar year—a previous record for the country. 

Of the traffic in the 11 months to the end of November 2022, 29.9 million passengers were domestic and 13.7 million were international.