Volaris is a low-cost Mexican airline that is headquartered in Santa Fe Alvaro, Obregon in Mexico City. The airline also has hubs in Tijuana, Mexico City, and Guadalajara. The airport has an interesting history and it offers travelers some great deals. If you haven't heard about them yet then you're in the right place to find out more. Here are 20 things you didn't know about Volaris.
1. Volaris started under a different name
The Volaris airline company has only been around for 14 years. They were first founded in 2004 as an official company during their pre-operations phase. It took them a year to build their infrastructure. The airline was officially launched in August of 2005 but they were not called Volaris at that time. The first name that the company used was Vuela Airlines. If you want to know more about the history of Volaris you might have more luck looking under its founding name.
2. The new airline had some major financial backing
When Volaris first got its start in the business, it was financially backed by powerful investors. This made it possible for them to become established quickly and build the proper infrastructure within a year. Grupo Televisa which is the largest Spanish language media conglomerate in the world was one of them. they were also backed by Inbursa, the insurance company that multi-billionaire Carlos slim owns, the Discovery America Fund and TACA Airlines. A total equal to $100 million was provided as the initial investment and each of the four partners shared the cost equally, making them equal shareholders in Vuela which would become Volaris.
3. Two of Volaris' investors sold their shares
In 2010, Inbursa and Televisa both sold their shares in Volaris. This left the total ownership of the company in the hands of Roberto and Maria Cristina Kriete of TACA Airlines as 50% owners, the Discovery America's Investment fun a little more than 25% and the remainder of the shares belonging to Indigo Partners which was a fund that was led by B. Franke, the former CEO of America West. The changes in ownership took place within five years of the company's initial launch of services.
4. They didn't start selling tickets until 2006
The first ticket sales for Volaris took place in January of 2006. This was right after their first aircraft was delivered. The very first flight took place in February of 2006 and it was a non-commercial flight. In March of 2006, the first flights that produced revenue for the company were launched with the inaugural flight taking place on March 13 of 2006. The route was from Toluca to Tijuana.
5. Volaris avoided Mexico City at first
This is an interesting fact that we discovered when we researched the facts about Volaris Airlines. The airline actually avoided flying into the airport at Mexico City, where they are now headquartered. The reasons for this aversion were sound. Th airport at Mexico City was very expensive and it was also quite congested. It wasn't until 2010 that they took over the slots that were occupied by Mexicana, an airline that is currently out of business, and their subsidiaries MexicanaLinka and MexicanaClick.
6. They launched their first frequent flyer program in 2012
On June 5th of 2012, Volaris announced the launch of their new frequent flyer program. They called it VClub. This was the beginning of the membership program that offered special fares, last minute travel deals, other offers and various other perks. Customers who sign up for the VClub membership can save up to 40% on their air fares. This was a big deal for the airline and it signaled a change in their customer relations and popularity as a low cost commercial flight provider. It was good news for their frequent flyers.
7. They signed up with PayPal
Another thing that Volaris customer appreciate about the airline is that they offer a way to pay for airfare through PayPal. This is a tremendous convenience for customer who have a PayPal account. Paypal is one of the most convenient payment methods available and it tracks all of your purchases in case you need to retrieve the information at a later date. Volaris made it possible for customers to being purchasing their tickets directly from the company's website through PayPal on June 6th of 2012.
8. They signed an important agreement for codeshare
In September of 2012, Volaris formed a codeshare partnership with Condor, an airline that was based out of Germany. This made it possible for the passengers of Condor to fly to a greater number of international destinations. This was a good deal for both airlines because Condor customers were given additional perks and Volaris was getting a hefty increase in commercial traffic customers.
9. Volaris celebrates its anniversary in a very special way
On the 13th of March in 2013, Volaris Airlines started a brand new tradition. This was the seventh anniversary of their inaugural flight. The celebrated it in a very special way by offering their passengers a discount of 70% off of all flights. As you can imagine, Volaris customers were thrilled with the savings. This was a move that helped them to increase their loyalty numbers. They've been offering the same 70% discount on the anniversary of their first flight ever since.
10. They created their first subsidiary in 2016
In March of 2016, Volaris made the announcement to the world that the company was creating a new subsidiary company. The name of their new venture was Volaris Costa Rica. The new company was based in Juan Santamaria International Airport in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Operations for their new subsidiary airline company commenced in November of 2016.
11. Volaris signed a codeshare with Southwest Airlines
This was a very important event in the history of Volaris. They signed a codeshare agreement with Southwest Airlines, which was a low cost American airline company. This benefited both Southwest and Volaris because they would have the same type of agreement to assist their customers with access to more destinations than before the agreement was established.
12. Volaris started making flights to the United States in 2009
This was a big step for the Mexican based airline. It was the start of their service to the United States with the first US bound flights leaving from Toluca and Guadalajara. They started flying to Los Angeles and Oakland in California via the feed that they established into the hubs of Southwest Airlines. A few years later, flights form Morelia and Zacatecas began making flights to Monterrey-Los Angeles as well as to Fresno, California.
13. They expanded into the midwest of the US in 2010
In December of 2010, Volaris airline made their first flight to Chicago, Illinois. This was only the airline's fourth international destination and it was the first of such services into a secondary airport. This was also the longest route that Volaris had established in their history so it was one to put down in the books as a major milestone.
14. Volaris took over Mexicana's destinations
In February of 2011, Volaris made the announcement that they would acquire Fresno, which was the Mexicana airline's destination. Their service to this city began on April 14th of 2011. What was significant about this acquisition is that the Fresno route was the very first United States route that Volaris had established that was not through their codeshare agreement with Southwestern airlines. It was at this time that Guadalajara International Airport became an American gateway hub.
15. Volaris got permission to fly in and out of Texas four years before service started
We thought that it was very interesting that Volaris airlines made a request for permission to fly routes between Mexico City and Dallas/Fort Worth four years before they actually started the operation. The United States Department of Transportation gave Volaris their approval to do so in February of 2011, but the airline didn't launch this service until April of 2015. We were impressed with their forward vision and with the fact that they did such advanced planning.
16. Volaris gained approval for San Diego in 2012
Volaris made another significant advance when they secured the approval to fly in and out of the San Diego International Airport in 2012. This opened up yet more routes for the company and they were able to offer more commercial passenger destinations with this agreement. They also established non-stop flights betwen Guadalajara and Orlando, Florida in the same year. This expanded their customer base tremendously. Later in 2012, Volaris opened a route between Mexico City and Denver, Colorado in the USA.
17. Southwest ended its codesharing with Volaris airlines
In February of 2013, Volaris and Southwest ended their codesharing agreement. It was the decision of Southwest because they had an interest in pursuing an interest in AirTran Airways which was another member of the Mexican airline market. This did have an impact on the number of customers that Volaris would have had through the agreement, but it didn't slow them down at all. They continued to expand with new flights in between Guadalajara and Phoenix, Arizona a few months later. They also opened a new route to San Antonio Texas from Mexico City and one from Guadalajara.
18. Volaris' expansion was intense between 2013 and 2016
During the three year period between 2013 and 2016, Volaris had lost the codeshare agreement with Southwestern but they picked up even more customers as more international flight routes were opened throughout key points in the United States. The company continued to seek and gain permission to fly in and out of new International Airports such as Miami, Florida form their hubs in Mexico City and in Guadalajara. They also added Fort Lauderdale later which replaced the Miami route in 2014. More changes would come though. They stopped flying into Fort Lauderdale in December of 2014 but this route was replaced with flights to Reno-Taho International airport. This gave the airline a big boost in passengers and revenue. The flights offered were non-stop.
19. Volaris moved into the Northeastern United States in 2015
As a part of their massive expansion of services and destination points, Volaris established their first ever non-stop flights from Guadalajara to New York JFK airport in July of 2015. This was yet another milestone for the company. By March of 2017, they had also added services between New York JFK and Mexico City. Linking these two major cities via air travel brought in a lot of passengers for commercial air service. This also was a non-stop service which was a favorite of passengers because of the shorter travel time and less time spent at the airports waiting for a connecting flight. In 2017, they added non-stop service between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Guadalajara. They also established a code share agreement with the American Airlines carrier Frontier airlines. Routes from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Guadalajara were established along with flights to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2018. The past few years have continued to see the rapid expansion of Volaris airlines.
20. They also expanded into South America
Volaris' first international flights that took place outside of the Continental United States happened on June 18, 2015 when they made their first flight to Guatamala. This was followed by the establishment of routes to San Juan in Puerto Rico in July, followed by routes to San Jose, Costa Rica in September of the same year. Immediately after establishing their South American routes, they started offering services to Seattle, Washington in the USA from Guadalajara. When asked about their plans for expansion of services throughout South America Volaris was clear about the fact that they have no plans to establish a route to Santiago de Chile. They would rather focus upon developing more services in the United States and in Central America as well as within their domestic markets. A local newspaper had erroneously stated that the company was going to have flights to Chile and this is why they confirmed that this was definitely not the case.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson