Volaris: Strong load factor amid passenger decrease for January

A Volaris Airbus A320 is marshalling to a parking spot.
NS777, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris has reported its January 2024 preliminary traffic results. Overall the carrier achieved a strong load factor, set against a decline in domestic passenger volume which resulted in an overall year-on-year decrease in passenger numbers.

Notably, the carrier witnessed continued growth in unit revenue.

Decreased ASM Capacity and RPMs

Volaris experienced a notable shift in its Available Seat Miles (ASM) capacity and Revenue Passenger Miles (RPMs) compared to the same period last year.

In January 2024, the ASM capacity witnessed a 10.7% year-over-year decrease, accompanied by an 8.9% decline in RPMs.

Despite these reductions, the airline managed to achieve a commendable load factor increase of 1.8 percentage points, reaching an impressive 88.0%.

Passenger Volume and Market Dynamics

During January 2024, Volaris served 2.5 million passengers, marking a 13.0% decrease from January 2023.

This decline in passenger volume can be attributed to various factors, including market fluctuations and operational adjustments.

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Notably, while Mexican domestic RPMs experienced a significant decline of 20.1%, international RPMs saw a contrasting increase of 15.1%.

A line-up of Volaris aircraft at dawn.
Rod ajl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Insights from Volaris President and CEO

Enrique Beltranena, President and CEO of Volaris, provided valuable insights into the company’s performance dynamics.

He highlighted the impact of accelerated inspections on GTF engines, leading to a reduction in ASMs, particularly within the Mexican domestic market.

However, this reduction was offset by increased capacity in international markets, fueled by Mexico’s Category 1 upgrade by the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Beltranena emphasized the positive repercussions of this reallocation of capacity, noting improvements in load factors within the Mexican domestic market and robust transborder traffic between Mexico and the U.S.

Furthermore, he underscored the continued growth in unit revenue, which has showcased strong performance since the fourth quarter of 2023.

The optimistic booking curves indicate a sustained positive trend in total unit revenue for the upcoming months, aligning with the company’s 2024 guidance.

About Volaris

Controladora Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: VLRS), operating as Volaris, is an ultra-low-cost carrier, with point-to-point operations, serving Mexico, the United States, Central, and South America.

The airline offers low base fares to build its market, providing quality service and extensive customer choice. Since the beginning of operations in March 2006, Volaris has increased its routes from 5 to more than 231 and its fleet from 4 to 130 aircraft.

The carrier offers more than 550 daily flight segments on routes that connect 43 cities in Mexico and 28 cities in the United States, Central, and South America, with one of the youngest fleets in Mexico.

Volaris targets passengers who are visiting friends and relatives, cost-conscious business and leisure travelers in Mexico, the United States, Central, and South America.

It has received the ESR Award for Social Corporate Responsibility for fourteen consecutive years.

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Volaris has achieved strong load factor and revenue growth for January 2024, despite a year-on-year decrease in overall passenger numbers.
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