The Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris aims to continue growing its presence in Central America. The company is close to launching its new branch, Vuela El Salvador (or simply Volaris El Salvador), as a low-cost national operator in this country. Let’s investigate further.
Volaris will launch a new airline in Central America. Foto: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.
What do we know about Volaris El Salvador?
Volaris sees an area of opportunity in Central America; before the Mexican company arrived, the region didn’t have any low-cost operators. Each country has a small regional carrier (except for El Salvador, which has Avianca).
For instance, Guatemala has TAG Airlines (a carrier with a fleet of Saab 340 and Embraer EMB145 aircraft); Honduras has CM Airlines; Costa Rica has operators like Skyway, and Panama has Copa Airlines. But none of these airlines is low-cost; therefore, Volaris discovered a niche of opportunity.
In a recent statement, the company announced that Volaris El Salvador will start operations in the country in September 2021. During the last investors’ conference call, Volaris’ management spoke about the Central America opportunity.
Enrique Beltranena, Volaris’ CEO, said,
“We are on track to launch Volaris El Salvador by the late third quarter to complement our presence in Costa Rica and enable us to take advantage of route rights from El Salvador, the biggest Central American VFR markets to the US.”
Volaris currently has branches in Mexico and Costa Rica. Foto: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.
How many aircraft could Volaris use in Central America
The Central American region is key to Volaris. The airline is looking to diversify the Mexican revenue base, generate more US dollars-denominated revenues, and maintain low operating costs. Moreover, Volaris wants to “take advantage of market opportunities left by weaker competitors in the region,” said Beltranena.
Currently, Volaris Costa Rica has a fleet of three Airbus A319-100 aircraft, with an average age of 13.8 years, according to ch-aviation.
While the airline hasn’t officially announced how many aircraft it will send to its branch in El Salvador, it believes there could be a potential of between 18 and 22 aircraft in Central America in the medium term.
Volaris El Salvador will aim to connect this country with the United States. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.
What routes would Volaris El Salvador operate?
Volaris El Salvador’s first flight would happen on September 15. The airline will start operating the route San Salvador-Mexico City.
A month after, Volaris El Salvador could also launch the route San Salvador-Cancún and, on October 31, it would launch the route San Salvador-San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Nevertheless, going forward, Volaris El Salvador aims to connect with the United States. Currently, there are seven airlines operating flights between both countries, including Volaris Costa Rica. They offer nearly 1,700 monthly flights between El Salvador and 11 airports in the United States.
According to Cirium, San Salvador has direct connectivity with San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort-Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Washington, and New York’s JFK and Newark.
New Honduras flights
Finally, Volaris recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Honduran government to launch new routes to this country.
The first route will be the one connecting San Salvador and San Pedro Sula. Going forward, the plans are to launch fifth freedom flights between Honduras, El Salvador, and the United States, but only if the local authorities approve the routes, said the company.
Do you want to fly with Volaris El Salvador? Let us know in the comments.
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