Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris has accelerated its fleet-expansion plan as it prepares to take delivery of its first Airbus A320.

Volaris, which now operates 18 144-seat A319s and expects by the end of this year to overtake Mexicana as Mexico's largest domestic carrier, plans to take its first 172-seat A320 in October. The carrier originally placed an order in 2006 for 16 A319s and early last year ordered another 14 A319s. But chief executive Enrique Beltranena says the carrier late last year opted to switch two aircraft on order to the larger A320.

Volaris A319
 © Volaris

The second A320 is set for delivery in November. Volaris also expects to receive its 19th A319 in November. Meanwhile, Volaris has secured two additional A319 delivery slots for 2009 and has also committed to leasing four additional A319s next year.

"We like to add at least seven aircraft each year," Beltranena says, adding that Volaris has added seven aircraft a year since launching in March 2006.

Beltranena says of the 18 A319s Volaris now operates, 14 came from its original order and have been sold and leased back while the other four came directly from lessors. That leaves 16 aircraft on outstanding order, including the three that will be delivered in the fourth quarter and three of the seven to be delivered in 2009.

Beltranena says the last 10 aircraft on order are now due for delivery in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but Volaris is interested in accelerating some of these if delivery slots become available.

Volaris, which is based in Toluca outside Mexico City, operates more than 120 flights a day to 21 cities throughout Mexico. It is planning more rapid domestic expansion for late this year and next year, followed by the launch of international operations in 2010.


Source: Flight International