By Albert Kuan
Mexico’s Volaris and VivaAerobus Expand to Colombia and South America
This week Mexican Low-Cost Carriers (LCC’s) Volaris and VivaAerobus officially announced the expansion of their international operations to Colombia and South America. Volaris and VivaAerobus will begin flying to Bogotá, Colombia later this year, with VivaAerobus being first in line to launch service on August 21, followed by Volaris on October 6.
Both LCCs announced the start of Colombia-bound flights to a trade show audience at the 2021 Vitrina Turística ANATO convention in Bogotá on Wednesday. Currently, the only LCCs flying between Mexico and Colombia are Colombia’s Wingo and Viva Air Colombia. Interjet was the first and only Mexican LCC to operate service to Bogotá, in addition to Cartagena and Medellín, however, the now-defunct airline ended all international operations at the start of 2020.
Volaris and VivaAerobus will both fly to Bogotá El Dorado International Airport from their bases in Mexico City, and in addition, Volaris will fly to Bogotá from Cancún. Volaris has chosen to also operate a service to Bogotá from Cancún as the destination allows Mexico-bound travelers to easily travel onwards to other destinations in Mexico. The airline has 16 different routes operating from Cancún and flies 490 flights per week from there.
Given the high demand for travel between Mexico and Colombia in the last five years prior to Covid-19, Volaris first expressed interest in expanding its low-cost service to Colombia in early 2021. According to figures from ProColombia, a government agency in charge of promoting tourism in Colombia, travel from Mexico to Colombia increased an average of 13% during those five years. Tourism authorities in both countries expressed optimism that the exchange of tourists between the two countries will strengthen the path for safe economic reactivation throughout Latin America.
“(The new low-cost services between Mexico and Colombia) strengthens our commercial relations with a great ally such as Mexico, which is our third destination with which we have more air frequencies and seats available,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.
Volaris will operate four flights per week to Bogotá from Mexico City. The service will operate on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays departing at 3:40 AM, and arriving in Bogota at 8:14 AM. The return flight leaves Bogotá at 9:14 AM and arrives back in Mexico City at 1:48 PM.
Volaris will also operate three flights per week to Bogotá from Cancún. The service will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays departing at 10:31 PM and arriving in Bogotá at 1:55 AM the next day. The return flight leaves Bogotá at 2:55 AM and arrives back in Cancún at 6:24 AM.
VivaAerobus will initially operate its Mexico City-Bogotá service two times per week on Wednesdays and Saturdays before increasing the frequency of flights to daily on Wednesday, September 15. The outbound flight leaves for Bogotá at 7:10 AM and arrives at 12:00 PM. The return flight leaves at 1:30 PM and arrives back in Cancun at 6:20 PM.
Volaris expressed high confidence in operating service to Bogotá from both Mexico City and Cancún and believes the exchange of travelers between both leisure destinations will work to diversify tourism for both countries.
“As the number one airline in Mexico, we recognize the importance of (flying between Mexico and Colombia) with the goal of promoting such a diverse tourism culture”, said Miguel Aguiñiga, Volaris’ Director of Market Development. “We are very excited to reach South America via Colombia.”