- Passenger numbers:
- Domestic: 2.2 million, +9.2% year-on-year;
- Aeromexico: 250,900, +5.6%;
- Volaris: 97,100, +17%;
- Aeromexico Connect: 51,500, +94.3%;
- Interjet: 30,300, n/a;
- Vivaaerobus: 12,100, +147%;
- Foreign air carriers: 1.9 million, -2.8%;
Mexican domestic passenger numbers up 9.2% to 2.2 million in Apr-2012
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Interjet’s international passengers soar with new US transborder push against Mexican and US rivals
International passenger numbers for the Mexican low cost airline Interjet skyrocketed more than 50% in the first seven months of 2016, reflecting the launch of more than 10 new international routes during that period, and with US transborder routes representing the bulk of Interjet’s international expansion.
Interjet is no doubt positioning itself to seize on opportunities created by a new, finalised bilateral between the US and Mexico that lifts restrictions on the number of airlines operating on specific routes between the two countries. Interjet’s rival Volaris has also grown its US transborder passengers in 2016, but it has a different route profile from that of Interjet. Generally, Interjet is subject to higher levels of competition on some of its transborder routes than Volaris, given that Interjet and Volaris offer different products to their passengers.
During the past two to three years Interjet and Volaris have been essentially tied for the coveted position of Mexico’s second largest domestic airline. But for the seven months ending Jul-2017 Volaris logged 22% domestic passenger growth, while Interjet’s passenger numbers inched down slightly, resulting in Volaris assuming full command of the second place ranking.
Mexican ULCC Volaris makes a pivot in its transborder strategy – into more contested markets
The US has been a key market for the Mexican low cost airline Volaris since the company launched transborder service in 2009, reflected in the more than 23 US markets the airline presently serves. For many years Volaris’ transborder push originated in other bases outside Mexico City, given slots constraints at Juarez International airport and previous caps on the number of airlines serving transborder routes from Mexico City.
But in 2017 Volaris is entering more contested markets, taking advantage of a new US-Mexico bilateral that lifts restrictions on the number of airlines operating on some routes between the two countries. It is upping competition with its Mexican rivals Aeromexico and Interjet on services from Mexico City, as well as with the large US global network airlines.
It is not clear if the routes will absorb the additional capacity added by Volaris, but the airline will be the only ULCC operating on those routes, betting it can stimulate traffic with its ultra-low cost model in the already crowded markets.