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Volaris Cancels Mexico City Route Due To Category 2 FAA Rating

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Enrique Beltranena, general director of Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier Volaris, said on Friday it is unlikely the airline will be able to launch its route from the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) later this year. Mexico remaining downgraded to Category 2 status by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is constraining the Volaris’ growth.

Route canceled?

For the Mexican government, having a direct route from NLU to the United States would be a great addition. The Felipe Ángeles International Airport was inaugurated earlier this year. So far, it only has one international flight (Caracas by Conviasa) and three-announced international services (Viva Aerobus to Havana, Copa Airlines to Panama, and Volaris to Los Angeles). The remaining active and future flights all consist of domestic services by Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus, and Volaris.

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That’s why the announcement by Volaris that it was planning to fly between NLU and LAX by the end of the year was great news. Nonetheless, launching this route was dependent on Mexico regaining Category 1 status.

The FAA downgraded Mexico to Category 2 in May 2021 after determining that Mexico’s civil aviation authorities do not comply with ICAO’s safety standards. Earlier this month, it was reported that the Mexican authorities failed a Technical Review. This outcome would keep the country in Category 2 until the end of the year, maybe probably well into 2023.

On Friday, Enrique Beltranena addressed the subject. He said,

“The Category 2 topic is regrettable; it is a significant delay and, definitely, we will not be able to launch the Los Angeles route in December.”

Volaris will not launch its route Felipe Ángeles-Los Angeles. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via
@gquimar
.

Volaris’ routes from NLU

By October, Volaris expects to operate 70 weekly flights (ten per day) from the Felipe Ángeles International Airport. It will put more than 13,020 seats available every week. That’s a 400% increase in flights and capacity by Volaris compared to what the airline is currently operating in July.

Volaris will operate 12 domestic routes from NLU in October. These are the routes:

  1. Acapulco (ACA), four weekly flights
  2. Cancun (CUN), 14 weekly flights, up from seven at the moment.
  3. Guadalajara (GDL), seven weekly flights
  4. Huatulco (HUX), three weekly flights
  5. La Paz (LAP), three weekly flights
  6. Merida (MID), seven weekly flights
  7. Mexicali (MXL), seven weekly flights
  8. Oaxaca (OAX), four weekly flights
  9. Puerto Vallarta (PVR), seven weekly flights
  10. Puerto Escondido (PXM), three weekly flights
  11. San José del Cabo (SJD), four weekly flights
  12. Tijuana (TIJ), seven weekly flights.


The airline will operate these flights completely with Airbus A320neo aircraft, according to data by Cirium.

Volaris will operate 70 weekly flights from NLU by October. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via
@gquimar
.

NLU’s connectivity

Currently, there are 52 weekly flights departing from NLU, according to data provided by Cirium.

Viva Aerobus currently operates the most flights and routes, serving seven routes.

By October, NLU will have 214 weekly flights (33,370 seats available), a 311.5% increase. Aeromexico will offer nine routes, Copa Airlines one, Conviasa one, Viva Aerobus seven, and Volaris 12. In terms of flights per week and capacity, Aeromexico will offer 105 (13,125 seats), Volaris 70 (13,020 seats), Viva Aerobus 35 (6,510), Copa Airlines three (462), and Conviasa one (253 seats).

When do you expect Mexico to regain its Category 1 status, and how much of an impact do you expect to see on Mexican airlines? Let us know in the comments below.





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