DALLAS – Today in Aviation, Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris (Y4) operated its first revenue flight in 2006. The service was operated by an Airbus A319, departing Y4’s Toluca (TLC) base bound for Tijuana (TIJ).
The airline was established as a joint venture between Central American airline Taca (TA), Latin American broadcaster Televisa, Mexican bank Inbursa and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Each party held a 25% stake in the airline.
Volaris came at a time when low-cost carriers were rapidly evolving in the Mexican market. This followed the privatization of the country’s two flag carriers.
Growth was rapid, adding eleven new routes in the first quarter of 2007. Its fleet also swelled from four to 17 Airbus A3.19s by the end of the year. By the end of 2008, Y4 had overtaken the now-defunct Mexicana (MX) as the country’s largest domestic operator.
Volaris signed a codeshare agreement with Southwest Airlines (WN) in November 2008. In March 2009, it added its first international routes from TLC and Guadalajara (GDL) to Oakland (OAK) and Los Angeles (LAX). The new routes enabled the carrier to feed into WN’s network.
Mexico City Access
The demise of MX and its subsidiaries allowed Y4 to finally gain full access to Mexico City (MEX) in September 2010. Previously, the airline had just two slot pairs at MEX, acquired in March 2010. The slots would have allowed Volaris to launch routes from MEX to TIJ and Mexicali (MXL).
Today, Y4 has its main hub at GDL, after moving its base from TLC in March 2011. The carrier serves 70 destinations on over 180 routes across Mexico, Central America, and the United States, with over 500 daily flights. Y4 operates a fleet of 102 Airbus A320 family jets, one of the youngest in the Americas.
Featured image: VOLARIS N529VL AIRBUS A320neo. Photo: Luke Ayers/Airways