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Introduction to Volaris
The Volaris airline codes are: IATA Code: Y4* // ICAO Code: VOI // * Controlled duplicate
Controladora Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V., better known by its commercial name of Volaris, was founded in August 2005 as an equal share partnership between 3 of Mexico’s most important companies: Grupo Televisa, Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and the Discovery Americas Fund, together with the El Salvadorian airline: TACA Airlines, which later became part of Grupo Avianca.
The four original partners in Volaris each invested US$25 million to launch the airline
Operating with Airbus 319s., of which it leased 4 to begin services, Volaris took to the skies on March 13, 2006., its inaugural flight being between its original base at Toluca International Airport and the Tijuana International Airport, the latter became the first bi-national airport in the Americas in December 2015.
Volaris launched operations in March 2006 with 4 x Airbus A319s from its Toluca base
On January 12, 2006., the company signed a contract with Airbus for the acquisition of 16 x A319s, plus options for 40 additional Airbus A320 family aircraft and, by October 2007, had received its 14th aircraft from the European manufacturer.
In just 18 months, Volaris increased its fleet size from 4 to 14 aircraft, all Airbus A319s
Initially, Volaris concentrated its efforts on the domestic market, but in July of 2009 it finally made the move into the international sector when it launched services to the US cities of Los Angeles and Oakland, in the state of California, concentrating on the Friends and Family niche of the Mexican residents in this US state.
Volaris launched its first international services to Los Angeles & Oakland in July, 2009
On July 16, 2010., Volaris announced that two of its original partners, Televisa and Inbursa, had sold their stake in the company. The company’s LCC rival Interjet was attempting to acquire Volaris but the takeover offer was rejected. Nowadays, the ownership of Volaris is as follows: Avianca (formerly TACA Airlines), the Investment fund Discovery Americas II, and Indigo Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm based in Phoenix (Arizona), which also has stakes in the American ULCC carrier Frontier Airlines (hence the partnership with Volaris), the Chilean LCC JetSmart and the Hungarian LCC Wizz Air; it is also planning a partnership with the Canadian charter airline Enerjet to launch a new Canadian ULCC.
In March 2011, Volaris announced it was moving its hub from Toluca to Guadalajara (Jalisco)
Volaris launched its frequent-flier program under the name of VClub in June 2012, which is a membership program that provides special (discount) fares, offers, last-minute travel deals, and other perks, offering discounts of up to 40%.
The airline’s frequent-flier program is called VClub, which it launched in 2012
Volaris was the second of Mexico’s airlines to list on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV), with its Initial Public Offering (IPO) for US$ 346 million on September 18, 2013., but in this case, simultaneously on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), under the ticker symbols “VOLAR” and “VLRS“, respectively. On February 3, 2016., Volaris announced it had entered the BMV’s list of companies with sustainable Pricing and Trading Index (IPC); at the time, the list comprised just 30 companies, each one with a capitalization value of at least MXN 10 billion (approx. US$ 500 mn.).
Volaris entered the Mexican Stock Exchange’s Sustainable Pricing and Trading Index in Feb. 2016
Volaris launched its fourth operational base at the Monterrey Mariano Escobedo International Airport on March 28, 2014., dedicating 3 x A320 aircraft to the new services that included the launch of 8 new routes out of MTY: Cancún (Quintana Roo), Culiacán (Sinaloa), Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua (Chihuahua), Los Cabos (Baja California Sur), Mérida (Yucatán), Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco), and Veracruz (Veracruz), thus increasing its activity at the airport by 120%.
On March 28, 2014., Volaris inaugurated its base at Monterrey International Airport
In June 2014, Volaris made its first appearance on the list of the ‘Top 500 Most Important Companies in Mexico,’ in position #159; the said list is produced annually by the Mexican magazine Expansión, which is part of the Grupo Expansión México editorial Group.
Volaris appeared on Expansion magazine’s list of ‘Top 500 Mexican Companies in 2014,’ at #159
In May, 2015., Volaris initiated its plan to obtain an AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate) in Costa Rica, with a view to launching an affiliate airline based in that country so as to expand services to Central and South America. According to a report in 50skyshades.com, Enrique Beltranena, the airline’s CEO, told FlightGlobal that the process was advancing, adding that the company hoped to begin services there in the autumn of 2016; the AOC was finally awarded to the Mexican airline in November of 2016.
Volaris Costa Rica‘s inaugural flight connected San José with Guatemala City on November 30, 2016
In November of 2015, Volaris launched two options of pre-paid travel cards, one costing MXP $599 and the other costing MXP $899, for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and valid for 19 and 28 routes, respectively, please see the official Web page for further details.
On November 17, 2015., Volaris was the first Mexican airline to launch pre-paid travel cards
Regarding customer care at Volaris, in a study of 1.3 million tweets regarding ‘airline tweet support,’ carried out by Stratos Jet Charters between November 2015 and January 2016, an Orlando-based air charter company, it concluded that the airline with the quickest response time was the Mexican LCC Volaris, followed by JetBlue and Etihad. In the case of Volaris, the average response time was 4 mins. 12 seconds.
According to Stratos Jet Charters, Volaris was the quickest regarding its ‘airline tweet support’
In 2015, the list of the Top-Ten safest Low Cost Carriers in the world, produced by AirlineRatings.com, included Volaris in its alphabetical list for the year, one of the criteria being the fact that the Mexican LCC has been certified by the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). In August 2017, for the fifth consecutive time, Volaris renewed its IOSA Certification. The IOSA Certification was launched 15 years ago and must be renewed every two years.
AirlineRatings.com included Volaris in its list of the Top-Ten Safest Low Cost Carriers in 2015
In May, 2016., this Mexican ULCC received delivery of a further aircraft from Airbus, another A320, which upped its fleet to 60 aircraft. Volaris is also continually expanding its route network and in recent years has grown more in the US market than in Mexico. In fact, in 2017 Volaris was named “the Airline with the Largest number of International Flights to the US” by the Airline Network News & Analysis (ANNA – anna.aero).
In 2017, Volaris broke the 15-million-passenger barrier for the 1st time, with 15,494,416 passengers
In its On Time Performance (OTP) report for 2017, the Official Airline Guide (OAG) placed Volaris as the third most punctual airline in Latin America, behind Copa Airlines (86.39% OTP) and Azul (84.14% OTP), and was the only Mexican LCC (Low Cost Carrier) to make the Top-Ten. As for the World’s LCCs, Volaris once again appeared in the Top-Ten, in this case at #6 while, in the All Airlines category, Volaris was placed at #20; all the aforementioned results were due to the airline’s 82.13% OTP for the year.
In 2017, OAG’s On Time Performance report placed Volaris as the world’s 20th most punctual airline
On March 13, 2018., Volaris celebrated its 12th Anniversary with its promotion: #TúPonesLasPromos (in English: You Choose the Promotions). This offer allowed pasengers to book flights up to 20 months in advance and included the peak periods of Holy Week and Christmas, without doubt one of the best offers so far seen from Volaris, or any other airline, in the sense of the advance-booking period and the inclusion of peak periods.
Volaris was 1 of just 40 companies to receive the Distintivo ESR®** for the 9th consecutive year in 2018
The **Empresa Socialmente Responsable – Socially Responsible Company (ESR) Award was created in Mexico by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) in the year 2000
In April 2019, Volaris launched a new brand to promote its ‘package’ options -at the Tianguis Turístico in Acapulco (Guerrero), the Republic’s most important tourism fair- the new option going under under the name of YaVaz (yavaz.com) and is aimed specifically at the Mexican market but includes both domestic and international package options, though of course there’s nothing to stop a visitor to Mexico choosing to use the service. According to Juliana Ramírez, the business development manager for YaVaz, there are around 6,000 package deals on the new travel platform, in alliance with leading hoteliers.
Volaris launched its own ‘package holiday’ brand in April 2019 called ‘YaVaz’
At the end of May 2019, Volaris announced it had been granted its Air Operator’s Certifictae (AOC) by the authorities in El Salvador (Autoridad de Aviación Civil de El Salvador) to launch the services of its new affiliate airline Vuela El Salvador S.A. de C.V., which will operate out of San Salvador International Airport (SAL) under the commercial name of Volaris El Salvador; the permission was given to commence commercial operations in August 2019; according to an article on FlightGlobal.com, the carrier will initially base two Airbus A320s in El Salvador. It will be interesting to see if the current routes operated by Volaris between Guadalajara // Mexico City and San Salvador are handed over to the new affiliate once it starts operations.
Volaris announced it transported its 100-millionth passenger in July 2019 -on a flight from Tijuana to Culiacán- and to celebrate the achievement, the passenger was awarded free flights for a year for herself, her husband and their three children
On July 5, 2019, six years after its Initial Public Offering (IPO), Volaris issued long-term Fiduciary Stock Certificates (the Spanish acronym being CBFI) to the value of MXN 1.5 billion on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV); commenting on the placement of the said certificates, Enrique Beltranena the carrier’s director general, said “Today we celebrate that, thanks to the confidence of our investors, we will be able to continue financing the arrival of new state-of-the-art airplanes, and with them we will be closer to more people who wish to travel for the first time, who want to meet with their families on the other side of the border or seek to discover unique places through the wide range of routes we have today.”
Volaris does not have an on-board magazine, but produces an online magazine by the name of V de Volaris; to see the magazine online, visit the following external link to the official V de Volaris magazine.
Volaris Passenger Numbers
Regarding Volaris’ passenger numbers, in the domestic market -in 2014- the company transported led in this sector with 7,817,045 passengers within Mexican territory and, throughout 2015, the number increased to 9,196,636 passengers, an annual increase of 17.6%, meaning it transported 24.7% of the domestic niche.
In 2015, Volaris registered an annual increase of 17.6% in the domestic niche compared with 2014
On the international front, Volaris transported 821,158 passengers in 2014, and broke the 1-million passenger mark in 2015, having registered a total of 1,105,464 occupied seats on cross-border flights -thus making it the second most important Mexican airline in this sector- to show a year-on-year gain over 2014 of 34.6%. In total, the Mexican airlines represented 26.6% of the international passenger market, of which Volaris transported 5.9%.
Internationally, Volaris broke the 1-million-passenger threshold in 2015, with 1,105,464 seats filled
Once again, in 2016, Volaris maintained its position as the leading single carrier in the domestic niche, this time registering 11,485,711 passengers for the year and thus extending its lead over Interjet in second place, the difference between first and second places being almost 2.5 million passengers. For 2017, Volaris fell just short of adding a further million passengers to its 2016 domestic numbers; the precise figure being 12,436,655 passengers, up 8.2% on its 2016 result, and thus claiming a market participation of 27.4% for the year.
Domestically, Volaris had a market share of 27.4% in 2017, an increase of 2.7% in 2 years
Throughout 2016, Volaris transported 2,891,825 passengers on its international flights meaning it upped its 2015 numbers by 1,786,361 passengers, definately an impressive feat. For 2017, the numbers continued their positive trend and took the airline’s international passenger numbers past the 3-million mark, the precise total being 3,057,761 seats filled on cross-border services.
Volaris surpassed the 3-million-passenger threshold in 2017 for the first time in the international niche
Throughout 2018, Volaris handled a total of 18.4 million passengers to show a year-on-year increase of 12% over 2017, and -for the first time- knocking Grupo Aoeroméxico (including both Aeroméxico and Aeroméxico Connect) off the top spot with regard to the domestic passenger niche, in previous years it had surpassed the said airlines on an individual basis.
In 2018, Volaris led in the domestic niche, having transported almost 14.1 mn. passengers within the Republic
In an official press release, the company announced that it had transported almost 14.1 mn. passengers, meaning this ULCC upped its domestic passenger traffic by 13.6%, compared with 2017, certainly helped by the fact that the company launched no less than 28 new domestic routes throughout 2018.
Volaris added an additional half million passengers to its international total of 2017, after registering 3.56 mn. international passengers in 2018
Meanwhile, in the international arena, Volaris transported 3.56 mn. passengers on its cross-border services, thus registering an annual increase of 5.7% above its 2017 result; in the international niche, this ULCC launched 13 new international routes and thus the global figure means the company had an overall route launch figure for 2018 of no less than 41 new routes.
**Passenger statistics source: Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC – General Directorate of Civil Aviation)
Volaris Bases/Focus cities:
Bases in Mexico:
The Tijuana International Airport – in the state of Baja California
The Guadalajara International Airport – in the state of Jalisco
The Mexico City International Airport – in the Mexican capital
The Monterrey Mariano Escobedo International Airport – in the state of Nuevo León
The Cancun International Airport – in the state of Quintana Roo
Focus cities in the United Sates:
The Los Angeles International Airport – in the state of California
Volaris Fleet: Average Age: 4.9 yrs. with 74 aircraft @ June 2019
The above average fleet age (and number) was released by Mexico’s DGAC (General Directorate of Civil Aviation).
5 x Airbus A319-100* – 144 passengers
41 x Airbus A320-200* – 174 passengers (there is a further one of this model on order/planned)
15 x Airbus A320neo*
10 x Airbus A321-200*
5 x Airbus A321neo* (new engine option)
*Planespotters.net provided the above fleet information (Consulted on Aug. 11, 2019). For further information on the Volaris fleet, please visit the external link to Planespotters.net
With regard to the Volaris fleet, at the Dubai Airshow, on Nov. 15, 2017., Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners, together with John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer for Airbus Commercial Aircraft, announced that Indigo Partners signed an MOU (memorandum of Understanding) for the acquisition of 430 Airbus A320neo family, of which, Volaris is to receive 80 aircraft, to be delivered between 2022 and 2026.
If all goes as planned, Volaris will have a fleet of 120 Airbus aircraft by the close of 2026
The 80 aircraft to be incorporated to the Volaris fleet are divided as follows: 46 x A320neos and 34 x A321neos, and will join the airline’s current fleet of 76 operational aircraft, as well as the 41 x A320neo Family aircraft already on order, which are to be delivered between now and the close of 2021. As for the price tag of the 80 new aircraft, the airline finally revealed on Jan. 16, 2018., that the investment will total US $9.3 billion.
Volaris’ investment for the aqcuisition of the 80 new Airbus aircraft will total US$ 9.3 bn
According to Enrique Beltranena, general director of Volaris, the idea is that for the close of 2026 the airline will have a fleet of 120 aircraft. In interview with the Mexican newspaper El Financiero, the general director commented that of the new aircraft still to be delivered, around 50% are to be used for fleet replacement, thus maintaining a low average fleet age which, at Sept. 2018, was just 4.2 years (as mentioned aboved).
If all goes as planned, Volaris will have a fleet of 120 Airbus aircraft by the close of 2026
Volaris Destinations – Nov. 2019
Volaris Destinations in Mexico:
To see which destinations are served by Volaris from each of the following Mexican airports, click on the airport’s (IATA code) link.
Volaris Destinations in North America:
USA: AUSTIN (AUS) – CHARLOTTE (CLT) – CHICAGO (MDW) – CHICAGO (ORD) – DALLAS (DFW) – DENVER (DEN) – FRESNO (FAT) – HOUSTON (IAH)
LAS VEGAS (LAS) – LOS ANGELES (LAX) – MIAMI (MIA) – NEW YORK (JFK)
OAKLAND (OAK) – ONTARIO (ONT) – ORLANDO (MCO) – PHOENIX (PHX) – PORTLAND (PDX) – RENO (RNO)
SACRAMENTO (SMF) – SAN ANTONIO (SAT) – SAN FRANCISCO (SFO) – SAN JOSÉ (SJC) – SEATTLE (SEA)
Volaris added 3 new US routes in Dec. 2017: Morelia-San Jose (SJC) & Fresno (FAT), plus Zacatecas-San Jose, on Dec. 15, 16, and 18, respectively
Volaris Destinations in Central America and the Caribbean:
COSTA RICA: SAN JOSÉ (SJO)
EL SALVADOR: SAN SALVADOR (SAL)
GUATEMALA: GUATEMALA CITY (GUA)
Volaris launched services to Guatemala City from Guadalajara/Cancun on June 18, 2015
San Juan (Pto. Rico) became Volaris’ 2nd Central American destination on July 2, 2015
On Sept. 10, 2015., Volaris launched San José (Costa Rica) services, also from GDL/CUN
Volaris Frequent-Flier Program – Alliances
In 2010, Volaris entered into an agreement with the US airline Southwest Airlines, but the partnership was terminated mutually on February 22, 2013. It also had an agreement with the El Salvadorian airline TACA Airlines, which is now part of the Colombian airline Aviacsa.
Volaris only has one has a code-share agreement at the moment, with the Spanish airline Condor
The only current alliance maintained by Volaris is with the German airline Condor, the third largest airline in the European country, and which is a subsidiary of the British Thomas Cook Group. This alliance began on September 17, 2012.
On Jan. 16, 2018., Volaris signed a code-share agreement with the US carrier Frontier Airlines
However, subject to approval by authorities in both Mexico and the United States, the Ultra Low Cost Carriers Volaris (Mexico) and Frontier Airlines (United States) announced on Jan. 16, 2018., that they had signed a code-share agreement, the first in the world between this type of airlines. Undoubtedly, there is no coincidence that these two carriers share one of the same investors: Indigo Partners.
In its 2018 Best Airlines Report, released on March 6, The Points Guy ranked Frontier Airlines as #5
According to the press release announcing the agreement, Enrique Beltranena, director general of Volaris, said: “We estimate that this alliance will add around 20 new destinations to our network and 80 new routes between Mexico and the United States.” If all goes well with the necessary authorizations, the idea is that the airlines will begin offering each others services sometime in the Spring of 2018, according to the press release on Frontier Airline’s official Web site.
The first of the code-share flights between Volaris and Frontier Airlines took place in Sept., 2018
In September 2018., the aforementioned code-share between Volaris and Frontier Airlines was officially launched with the first connecting flight taking place via San Antonio (SAT – Texas); the connecting airports for these new options are as follows: Denver, San Antonio, San José (California), Los Ángeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and Orlando in the US, whilst in Mexico the only current official connecting airport is Cancun (CUN).
Volaris Contact Information
Av. Antonio Dovalí Jaime #70, Torre B, Piso 13,
Col. Zedec Santa Fe,
Delegación Álvaro Obregón
Mexico City: +52-(55)-1102-8000
Freephone Mexico: 01-800-122-8000
From the United States: +52-(866)-988-3527
Introduction to Volaris Costa Rica
The Volaris Costa Rica airline codes are: IATA Code: Q6 // ICAO Code: VOC
With the expansion of Volaris into Central America -in Nov. 2016- through its affiliate airline Volaris Costa Rica (official name: Concesionaria Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.P.I. de C.V.), the company is increasing the interconnectivity of the Central American countries as well as adding cross-border options from these countries into Mexico; in mid-March 2018 the affiliate the company was operating services to 4 destinations in the Mexican Republic (Cancún, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Tijuana) from Central America. Nowadays -August 2019- the company is serving just Cancun and Mexico City from Central America.
Volaris Costa Rica has its main base at San José International Airport, Costa Rica
In March 2018, Volaris Costa Rica took an important step for the future by launching its first direct routes to the United States from Costa Rica, albeit with stopovers, initially connecting San José – San Salvador – Los Angeles // San José – Guatemala City – Los Angeles; its next US routes connected San José – San Salvador – New York and San José – San Salvador -Washington, as of May 2018.
Volaris Costa Rica launched flights between Central America and the US in March 2018
According to Enrique Beltranena, general director of Volaris, the affiliate airline transported over 320,000 passengers in 2017. After a little over two years of operations, the affiliate airline has increased its services from its inagural flight between San José (Costa Rica) and Guatemala City in Decemeber 2016, to offer 9 destinations in 6 countries (see ‘Destinations’ below) in August 2019.
The affiliate Volaris Costa Rica transported over 320,000 passengers in 2017
In addition, the new carrier has already chosen to expand its coverage from its main base at the Juan Santamaria International Airport of San José, the capital of Costa Rica, through the creation of two secondary hubs at the Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámezto International Airport in San Salvador, and the La Aurora International Airport of Guatamala City.
The affiliate Volaris Costa Rica currently serves 9 destinations in 6 countries
In interview with LaPrensaGráfico.com in Dec. 2018, the general manager of Volaris Costa Rica, Fernando Naranjo, stated that from Jan.-Nov. 2018, the Costa-Rica-based affiliate had transported over 475,000 passengers to show a year-on-year increase of 78% compared with the same period in 2017.
Volaris Costa Rica received the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certificate in July 2019, the benchmark for global safety management in airlines
It will be interesting to see if the current routes operated by Volaris between Guadalajara // Mexico City and San Salvador are handed over to the new affilate: Volaris El Salvador once it starts operations, supposedly in September 2019.
Volaris Costa Rica Bases:
The Juan Santamaría International Airport of San José, Costa Rica
The Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez International Airport of San Salvador, El Salvador
The La Aurora International Airport of Guatamala City, Guatemala
Volaris Costa Rica Fleet
3 x Airbus A319-100
*Planespotters.net provided the above fleet information (Consulted on Aug. 11, 2019). For further information on the Volaris Costa Rica fleet, please visit the external link to Planespotters.net
Volaris Costa Rica Destinations
Volaris Costa Rica Destinations in North America
USA: LOS ANGELES (LAX) – NEW YORK (JFK) – WASHINGTON (IAD)
Volaris Costa Rica Destinations in Central America:
COSTA RICA: SAN JOSÉ (SJO)
EL SALVADOR: SAN SALVADOR (SAL)
GUATEMALA: GUATEMALA CITY (GUA)
NICARAGUA: MANAGUA (MGA)
Volaris Costa Rica Telephone numbers:
Costa Rica: 506-4002-7462
El Salvador: 503 -504-5540