Monday, June 17, 2024

Which Mexican airline grew the most in 2023?

Low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus flew nearly 25 million passengers in 2023, experiencing a 20.7% increase and becoming the fastest-growing Mexican airline of the year. 

CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua, said in a statement that the airline closed last year with solid demand that is expected to remain positive for the beginning of this year.

Despite Viva Aerobus’ growth, Volaris remains Mexico’s largest airline, having transported 33.4 million passengers last year – 7.9% more than in 2022.

“We are pleased with the demand we experienced during the peak season, which, together with the changes in our network, helped us achieve high single-digit year-over-year growth in total unit revenue,” Volaris boss Enrique Beltranena said. He added that they’re “confident” that the trend will continue during the first quarter of the year. 

However, Volaris reported that it flew 4.6% fewer passengers in Dec. 2023 than the same month of 2022. 

Meanwhile, Aeroméxico flew 24.7 million passengers in 2023, an increase of 3.3 million passengers – 14% – compared to 2022. 

Aeromexico 737-MAX 9
Aeroméxico is the latest Mexican airline to be affected by aircraft issues, with 19 Boeing 737-MAX 9 aircraft currently grounded after a door blew out of an Alaska Airlines flight at 16,000 feet earlier this week. (Aeromexico)

Overall, Volaris, Viva Aerobus, and Aeroméxico carried 83.2 million passengers in Mexico on domestic and international flights in 2023. 

Both Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobus were forced to ground a number of aircraft after manufacturing issues with their Pratt & Whitney engines, affecting passenger numbers during the final months of 2023. Zuazua predicts the issues will be fully resolved by 2025.

“We are committed to maintaining safe operations and disciplined capacity deployment,” he said in a statement. “We are working closely with P&W to determine the inspection schedule and impact on our fleet for next year.”

Aeroméxico also grounded its 19 Boeing 737-MAX 9 planes – some 12% of its total fleet – after an incident with an Alaska Airlines flight last week which caused the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to order U.S. carriers to ground and inspect these planes.

The company announced on Monday that these airplanes are now in the final phase of inspection and expects its equipment to return to operation in the coming days.

With reports from Forbes México and T21

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