TULUM, México – Enrique Beltranena, the CEO of Volaris, one of Mexico’s leading airlines, expressed his views on the upcoming Tulum Airport and its potential as a regional aviation hub. Although the airport’s operations are scheduled to begin in 2024, the CEO hinted at the prospect of Tulum becoming a promising alternative in the region.
Beltranena revealed that he personally met with representatives from Tulum last week, expressing cautious optimism about the airport project. “It is too early to determine our course of action there, but from a market perspective, it appears to be a good alternative. However, no final decisions have been made yet,” he stated.
According to the federal government’s plans, the terminal is set to cater to approximately 5.5 million passengers annually upon its launch, with an ambitious target of up to 32,000 annual flight operations in its initial phase. The state-of-the-art airport will feature 13 positions for commercial aircraft, catering to both domestic and international flights. Additionally, it will boast an extra platform dedicated to general and executive aviation, providing 28 positions. A hangar with 12 positions will further accommodate executive aircraft, ensuring the airport meets the growing demands of the aviation industry.
Beltranena emphasized Volaris’ commitment to expanding its presence in smaller cities and secondary markets. The company recently announced an impressive 40 new domestic routes, a significant milestone in its history. This strategic expansion reflects their dedication to identifying opportunities to shift travelers from buses to airplanes, offering greater convenience and efficiency.
Regarding the coveted Category 1 safety rating from the United States, Beltranena expressed hope that Volaris would achieve this milestone by the end of the year. He reiterated that the airline is well-prepared to leverage the benefits that this upgrade will bring.
While acknowledging significant progress in negotiations with U.S. authorities, Beltranena acknowledged the complexities of American bureaucracy and timelines. He anticipates the recovery of the Category 1 status in the fourth quarter, marking a turning point for Volaris and Mexico’s aviation industry as a whole.
Beltranena also emphasized the immense potential for growth and cooperation between Mexico and the United States. As Mexico remains the U.S.’s most important trading partner, coupled with a favorable economic climate characterized by increased employment, higher wages, robust consumer spending, and a stronger peso, the opportunities for Volaris to capitalize on these trends and expand its market presence are substantial.
“We are strategically positioned to capitalize on these trends and anticipate even more significant growth and market presence in the medium term,” Beltranena emphasized. “We eagerly await Mexico’s return to Category 1 status and are fully prepared to seize the opportunities it will bring in the second half of the year.”
The second quarter of the year brought positive news for Volaris, with the company reporting impressive financial results. The airline’s revenues soared to $782 million, representing a notable 13% increase from the previous year, fueled by strong international demand and additional passenger-related income.
During the three-month period, Volaris served 8.4 million reserved passengers, marking a 12% surge, with domestic and international bookings rising by 7.2% and 34%, respectively.
On the operational front, Volaris achieved a significant 18% increase in total capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), reaching an impressive 9.9 billion. However, the carrier experienced a slight 1.0 percentage point decline in the overall occupancy rate, settling at 84.6% as compared to the same period in 2022.
As the opening of the Tulum Airport approaches, the aviation industry is watching closely to witness the transformation of Tulum into a regional aviation powerhouse. With Volaris poised to seize growth opportunities and Mexico’s economic outlook remaining promising, the future looks bright for both the airline and the region it will serve.