ALTA: Volaris to connect the dots in 2013

Panama City
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Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris intends to focus more on connecting the dots in its network in 2013, following a year of rapid network expansion both domestically and in the USA.

The airline's chief executive Enrique Beltranena says there is high demand from secondary cities in Volaris' network to receive more connections. He cites the Uruapan to Los Angeles route, which Volaris started as a weekly frequency in October. "Over Christmas, we will be ramping it up to almost daily," says Beltranena.

He believes that Volaris' low fares have helped stimulate traffic on the routes it operates on, and the airline intends to offer more options to travellers residing in secondary cities like Uruapan and Queretaro.

Less of a priority in the next six to eight months is the opening of new destinations in the USA. Volaris operates to various US cities including Los Angeles, Orlando, San Diego and most recently, Sacramento. It will launch flights to Denver in December.

In a couple of years, however, Volaris plans to begin operations to the US east coast, says Beltranena. Potential destinations include New York and Atlanta. Volaris also plans to "further develop" Florida. It now operates to only Orlando in the state.

Volaris will end 2012 with a fleet of 41 Airbus A320 family aircraft and add seven more in 2013, says Beltranena.

Five of the seven aircraft are deliveries from an existing order with Airbus, while another two will come from lessors. The airline has leases on four A320 family aircraft expiring in 2013, and has the flexibility to extend these if it needs.

Separately, Volaris firmed up an order with Airbus in January for the purchase of 14 current generation A320s and 30 A320neos. It has not made an engine selection for the A320neos, and expects to do so in 2013, says Beltranena.