Location of Aeromexico Connect main hub (Monterrey Escobedo International Airport)
96 total articles
5 total articles
Mexican low-cost carrier VivaAerobus began 2014 on a down note – cancelling a planned public offering valued at roughly USD226 million as it concluded market conditions were too dour and unpredictable to achieve an IPO successfully.
The cancellation occurred as VivaAerobus prepared for the first delivery of an Airbus A320. Its acceptance of the new jet marks a pivotal transition from older Boeing 737-300 narrowbodies to similar aircraft operated by its fellow low-cost rivals Interjet and Volaris.
VivaAerobus’ decision to shutter accessing the public markets does leave some questions as to how it will finance the 52 Airbus jets it has on order as six of the aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2014. On a broader scale, VivaAerobus remains the smallest carrier among the four largest Mexican airlines, three of which (including VivaAoerbus) define themselves as low-cost carriers. If the projected rebound in Mexico’s economy fails to materialise during 2014, VivaAerobus’ greater exposure to the domestic market could create challenges for the carrier’s yet-to-be defined strategy for the future.
Having recently celebrated the significant milestone of competing an initial public offering, Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris remains bullish over the opportunities inherent in the Mexican aviation market as its domestic share continues to grow and its position in the international transborder space remains steady.
Key to Volaris’ belief in the robust opportunities present in Mexico is the growing appetite for air travel among the country’s increasing middle class. In the short term that thesis may prove tough to execute as the Mexican economy has been slowing and domestic passenger growth has not been as rapid during 2013 as recent years when Mexico’s carriers were scurrying to fill the void left by the collapse of Mexicana in late 2010.
As Volaris works to capture more of Mexico’s middle class, its competitors are devising their own strategies to compete in the dynamic Mexican market place. Aeromexico recently launched a new low-fare product scheme, "Contigo" while Interjet is planning a small market push as the first of its 20 93-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100s comes online. All of those dynamics should make for an interesting market place during the next couple of years as those carriers, along with VivaAerobus work to stake out their respective claims among the growing passenger base. Volaris is basing its future on a fleet comprised only of Airbus A320s while some of its competitors are utilising smaller jets to exploit thinner Mexican and transborder routes.
Domestic passenger traffic in Mexico slowed to the single digits during 1H2013 after recording 10% growth in 2012. The country’s largest carrier Aeromexico is attributing some of the decrease in demand to a softening Mexican economy, which could pressure the country’s low-cost carriers whose business models are built on capturing members of the Mexican middle class that still travel largely by bus.
It is not yet clear how demand patterns within Mexico will shape up for the remainder of 2013, but all of the country’s main carriers continued to record year-on-year growth for Jun-2013 with the exception of Aeromexico. Mexico's only remaining legacy carrier is seeing its domestic market share slide as it focuses more on international expansion.
Aeromexico saw its profits drop for the second consecutive year in 2012 as it was only able to grow passenger traffic by 3% despite double-digit growth for the overall Mexican market. But Mexico’s only surviving legacy airline group remains in the black and its outlook remains relatively bright given its strong position in the Mexican market and the resurgence of the country’s economy.
Grupo Aeromexico is planning to grow capacity (ASKs) by a further 6% in 2013, matching the 6% capacity increase from 2012. But the group is targeting higher RPK growth and load factors, which it hopes will allow it to regain the share of the domestic market it lost in 2012.
Internationally, Aeromexico is planning to grow capacity by up-gauging routes, including replacing 767-200s with new 787-8s to London and Paris. Aeromexico also plans to deploy its first batch of 787s to New York, which it currently only serves with 737s. Aeromexico now expects it will receive three 787-8s in 4Q2013, representing a delay of about three months due to the current grounding of the global 787 fleet.
Rapid growth among Mexico’s three low-cost carriers – Interjet, VivaAerobus and Volaris – helped drive international passengers transported by Mexican carriers up 42% year-over-year during 1Q2012 as those airlines further expanded into US transborder markets and introduced new flights from Mexico to Central America and the Caribbean.
Mexico’s airlines transported 1.3 million international passengers during the first three months of this year compared with 924,916 during the prior year period, according to data from Mexico's DGAC. Interjet had the most dramatic growth, increasing its share of Mexico's international market (among Mexican carriers) from zero to 5.8% year-over-year. Interjet launched its first international flights last year and now operates from Mexico City to Guatemala, Havana, Miami and San Antonio and from Toluca to San Antonio.
Interjet currently operates 12 weekly roundtrip flights with Airbus A320s from its main base at Mexico City to San Antonio and three weekly flights from Toluca, where the carrier has its headquarters, maintenance facility and a smaller base.