Mexico's Interjet expands A320 fleet

Washington DC
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Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet is pursuing further rapid expansion of its fleet by leasing two additional Airbus A320s for delivery this quarter.

An Interjet spokeswoman says two A320s will be delivered "soon" and used to increase frequencies on existing domestic routes. She says the two aircraft are in addition to the four new A320s Interjet is expecting this year as part of its outstanding order with Airbus for 12 more A320s. Two of these are slated for delivery in June and the other two in November.

Interjet first decided to accelerate its fleet expansion plan after Mexicana ceased operations last August. In the fourth quarter of last year Interjet added five leased A320s that were not in its original fleet plan, giving the carrier a fleet of 22 aircraft.

Interjet has not identified the source of these five aircraft or the two A320s which are now in the process of being added.

The new leases mean Interjet will end this year with at least 28 aircraft. Next year the carrier will start expanding its fleet with 98-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100s, having ordered 15 of the new type last month. Interjet also will continue adding A320s, with four more due for delivery in 2012 and the final four from its current order due to be delivered in 2013.

The carrier currently serves 24 domestic destinations. The spokeswoman says for now the additional capacity coming online will be added to further grow domestically rather than expand into international services.

Interjet has seen its domestic market share increase significantly since Mexicana's exit. Last year the carrier flew four million domestic scheduled passengers, accounting for 16% of Mexico's total domestic market, according to Mexican DGAC data. In 2009 Interjet flew 3.1 million scheduled domestic passengers, accounting for 13% of the total domestic market.