Colombia's low-cost airline VivaColombia has contributed nearly half of the new passengers added to the country's domestic market in the first five months of 2013, proving that the low-cost model is gaining acceptance in the mature market.
According to data provided by the airline, VivaColombia held a 8.1% market share during the first five months of 2013, a year after its first flight in late May 2012. This put it in third place, narrowly ahead of Copa Colombia.
The market leaders continue to be Avianca, followed by LAN Colombia.
VivaColombia's influence on the domestic market is particularly notable as it contributed 0.67 million passengers from January to May, or more than 45%, of the 1.49 million additional passengers in the domestic market compared to the same months in 2012.
This increase represents a solid 21.7% growth rate and keeps Colombia on top of the list of fastest growing Latin American aviation markets.
The airline has also been the main contributor to the year-on-year 70.7% passenger growth during the same period at Medellin Jose Maria Cordova airport, VivaColombia's main base.
William Shaw, VivaColombia's vice-president of commercial says the figures "prove that VivaColombia is revolutionising the [Colombian] market as our people want to fly with the best fares".
VivaColombia, which has the Ryanair founder family among its investors and is a corporate sibling to Mexico's VivaAerobus, operates to nine Colombian destinations with a fleet of five Airbus A320 aircraft. In 2014, it plans to expand operations to international markets.