Volaris: more routes, more planes. Volaris: more routes, more planes.

Volaris, Frontier sign codesharing accord

More destinations predicted by Volaris, which also announced plans to buy new planes

Budget airline Volaris had an eventful day yesterday, announcing new destinations and new planes.

The company said in a statement it had signed a codesharing agreement with United States ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines.

While it is still subject to approval in both countries, Volaris said that the deal will open up new destinations and increase options for low-cost fares for people traveling between Mexico and the United States.

“We estimate that this alliance will add around 20 new destinations to our network and 80 new routes between Mexico and the United States,” Volaris general manager Enrique Beltranena said.

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said travelers will benefit from lower fares.

“Many customers travelling between the U.S. and Mexico are forced to pay high fares to fly, and this agreement will provide lower fares to a vast majority of the U.S. and Mexico population,” he said.

If the deal is approved, Frontier will also have access to new destinations in the Mexican market.

Volaris said the agreement is one of the first to be signed by two ultra-low-cost airlines.

Later in the day, the company announced that it will invest US $9.3 billion to purchase 80 new Airbus aircraft, a move that will more than double its existing fleet of 71 A320 Airbus planes.

Volaris announced its acquisition plans last month but the size of the investment wasn’t revealed until yesterday.

The second announcement of the day was made at an event attended by President Enrique Peña Nieto, Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, company CEO Beltranena and the president of Airbus in Latin America, Rafael Alonso Guzmán.

The new planes will arrive in Mexico between 2022 and 2026, meaning they are slated for use at the new Mexico City International Airport. The purchase is the largest ever by a Mexican airline from the European manufacturer.

Peña Nieto said that once the planes are in Mexico and in operation, they will generate “more than 25,000 jobs,” adding that he was pleased to accompany Volaris in its new stage of growth and modernization.

When the company’s first-ever flight took off from Toluca Airport bound for Tijuana in 2006, it was Peña Nieto in his former role as governor of the state of México who waved the official starting flag.

Peña Nieto said the company’s purchase “is a sign of Mexico’s economic solidity and the confidence that local and international investors have in the country.”

He also highlighted that during his presidency, 81 billion pesos (US $4.3 billion) have been invested in airport infrastructure, a figure he said was 3.5 times greater than the previous administration.

The company’s CEO also talked up the company’s credentials.

Beltranena said that in almost 12 years of operation, 80 million passengers have flown with Volaris and that its new investment was possible because the company is “different.”

He added that its entrance into the market had changed the sector and enabled thousands of passengers to travel for the first time in their lives.

“We dared to fly.We dared to fly where no one else flies,” Beltranena said.

Source: Forbes México (sp), El Economista (sp), FlightGlobal (en)

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