Volaris continued to successfully navigate the challenges arising from the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic in January as Mexico experienced a new wave of infections in recent weeks. For January 2021 Volaris posted one of the fastest recoveries worldwide as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), a result of its strong ultra-low-cost business model focused on the visiting friends and relatives and leisure segments in the domestic Mexico and US-transborder markets. Despite the progress made in the fourth quarter 2020, challenges in the current period remain elevated with COVID-19 case counts increasing in both Mexico and the US.
In January 2021, capacity measured by ASMs (Available Seat Miles) was 97% compared to the same month of last year. Demand measured by RPMs (Revenue Passenger Miles) was 83% of last year. Volaris transported 1.5 million passengers during January 2021. Booked load factor for January 2021 was 73.9%.
Volaris’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Enrique Beltranena, commenting on the traffic results for January 2021, said: “Volaris remains well prepared with a solid market position cemented over the past year, demonstrating the power and strength of our ultra-low-cost business model. Historically, our first quarter is more challenging and in pandemic times it is even more so. We will continue to preserve liquidity while, at the same time, explore new growth opportunities. We believe Volaris’ ultra-low-cost structure and market-leading footprint in the domestic market will continue to position our Company at the lead of the airline industry recovery.”
For the first quarter, the Company expects demand weakness and booking curves to compress. Volaris operates approximately 30% of its network from Mexico to the US and expects a short-term reduction in demand for cross border flights as a result of recent US regulations requiring international passengers arriving in the US to have completed a negative COVID-19 test not more than 72 hours prior to departure. As a result, the Company’s network plans for the first quarter of 2021 will be more conservative, focused on deploying appropriate levels of capacity to align with the changing demand environment. At present, Volaris intends to operate approximately 80% of capacity as compared to the same period of last year, as measured by ASMs. This still represents a strong capacity comeback from the pandemic versus the industry…