Mexico's principal ATR operator Aeromar sees new business opportunities after competing regional jet operator Alma declared bankruptcy and ceased operations on 8 November.
Speaking to ATI during the ALTA Airline Leaders conference in Cancun, Mexico, Aeromar Senior VP network planning and development, Fabricio Cojuc, says that immediately after Alma's market departure, Aeromar started to operate weekday flights from Reynosa to Poza Rica and Villahermosa.
"Alma's [Bombardier CRL200] regional jets represented a tough competition for us when they started to offer for the first time ever jet services on some of our historic routes. This forced us to abandon certain markets. But it proved impossible for them to compete against the economic advantage of the ATR on short routes, particularly at the fuel prices of the last month. So, at the end, we are recovering markets where we had been operating previously for a long time", he says.
Cojuc claims that Aeromar is basically immune to the crisis which has seen many Mexican carriers disappear over the last few months, because of its "very stable business model".
"We are a low profile operator, well known in the market where we operate, carrying a Mexicana codeshare designator on all flights, but maintaining complete management autonomy", says Cojuc of the 21 year old airline.
By the end of next year, Aeromar will have completed its fleet renewal programme after the last two ATR 42-320s will be substituted with two ATR 72-500s ordered last year, bringing the fleet to 13 ATR 42-500s and two 72-500s.
Explaining that Aeromar never "embarked in crazy growth" Cojuc says planned capacity adjustments by the carrier only entail accommodating the larger seating capacity of the larger ATR-72s.
Aeromar in 2007 transported around half a million passengers.