Volaris, legally Concesionaria Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: VOLARA, NYSE: VLRS), is a Mexican low-cost airline based in Santa Fe, Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City with its main base at Tijuana International Airport in Tijuana. It is the country's second largest airline after Aeroméxico and serves domestic and international destinations within the Americas. It is a leading competitor in the Mexican domestic airline market, now with a market share of over 23% of domestic traffic.
The pre-operations phase (founding of the legal entities and setting up of the required infrastructure) started in August 2005 under the name Vuela Airlines. Major initial shareholders of the company were Grupo Televisa (the world's biggest Spanish-language media conglomerate), Inbursa (an insurance company owned by billionaire Carlos Slim), Avianca (then TACA Airlines) and the Discovery Americas Fund. Each of these partners invested 25% of the initial cost of activities, or 100 million USD. On July 2010, it was announced that Televisa and Inbursa had sold their stake in Volaris leaving the ownership of Volaris as follows: Avianca (then TACA Airlines) with Roberto and Maria Cristina Kriete (50%), Investment fund Discovery Americas (over 25%) and Indigo Partners: Fund led by former America West CEO B. Franke.
Ticket sales started on January 12, 2006, and, following the delivery of the airline's first aircraft, the first (non-commercial) flight was operated in February 2006. Scheduled revenue flights were launched on March 13, 2006, with the inaugural flight having been operated from Toluca to Tijuana.
Initially, the airline avoided flying to Mexico City because of its congested and expensive airport. The airline took over several slots that had been owned by now-defunct Mexicana and its subsidiaries MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink, establishing service in September 2010. In March, 2011, it announced that its hub in Toluca would move to Guadalajara.
On June 5, 2012, the airline launched a frequent flyer program called VClub. It is the membership program that provides special fares, offers, last minute travel deals and other perks. Customers can save up to 40% using the VClub membership. On June 6, 2012, PayPal became a payment alternative for the airline, enabling customers to purchase tickets directly from the airline's website. On September 17, 2012, Volaris announced a codeshare partnership with a German airline, Condor. Passengers of Condor are able to fly to more international destinations.
On March 13, 2013, the airline celebrated its seventh anniversary, offering passengers 70% off all flights, it has done this every year since then.
In November 2008, Volaris announced a codeshare agreement with US-based low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines.
In April 2009, Volaris announced the start of US-bound flights out of Toluca and Guadalajara (initially to Los Angeles and Oakland) to feed into the hubs of Southwest Airlines. Later on, US-flights were also offered from Zacatecas and Morelia, with Monterrey-Los Angeles (with Fresno Yosemite International Airport) in planning.
On December 13, 2010, Volaris started services between Midway International Airport and Guadalajara. It is Volaris' fourth international destination, first international service to a secondary airport and the longest route of Volaris' history. After Mexicana de Aviación's shutdown, Volaris took over many of Mexicana's international destinations and flights from its focus city, Guadalajara.
On February 25, 2011, it was announced that Volaris would acquire Mexicana's destination, Fresno Yosemite International Airport and would begin service on April 14, 2011. Fresno was Volaris' first US destination where it did not partner with Southwest Airlines. The airline began using Guadalajara International Airport as an American gateway hub in late 2011.
Volaris sought permission to fly between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Mexico City, along with a number of other U.S.-Mexico routes. Volaris submitted the request on February 3, 2011 and the U.S. Department of Transportation granted approval on February 11. However, Volaris did not launch the service until over four years later, on April 29, 2015, when it began flights between DFW and Guadalajara.
Volaris received approval to fly to Southern California's San Diego International Airport on July 12, 2012. Volaris then began non-stop flights between Orlando and Guadalajara from July 14, 2012.
Volaris started service between Sacramento Int'l and Guadalajara on November 15, 2012. Volaris then began flights between Denver and Mexico City on December 8, 2012.
On February 22, 2013, Volaris and Southwest stopped codesharing. Southwest decided to focus more on the Mexican market with AirTran Airways, instead of codesharing with Volaris.
Volaris began flights between Phoenix and Guadalajara on October 19, 2013.
Volaris began flying to its first destination in Texas, at the time, to San Antonio International Airport from Guadalajara on December 14, 2013.
Volaris began non-stop flights between Chicago/O'Hare and Mexico City on December 17, 2013. This replaced Volaris' Chicago/Midway-Mexico City flights.
Volaris then began flights between Guadalajara and Ontario Int'l Airport in Ontario, California, a reliever airport in the Greater Los Angeles area, on April 12, 2014.
Volaris applied to fly Mexicana's former Portland to Guadalajara route. The application was granted and service to Portland began on October 6, 2014.
Volaris began its second destination in Florida, Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport from Mexico City on December 1, 2014 and then also from Guadalajara on December 4, 2014.
Volaris began non-stop flights between Reno–Tahoe International Airport and Guadalajara on December 16, 2014.
Volaris planned to launch service to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas as soon as the new terminal was completed, but the airline chose to begin flying to Houston-Intercontinental from Guadalajara on March 26, 2015, instead.
Volaris began its first non-stop flights to the Northeastern United States, when it began service between New York-JFK and Guadalajara on July 15, 2015.
In the summer of 2015, Volaris launched its first ever international flights outside the Continental United States; to Guatemala on June 18, to Puerto Rico on July 2, and to Costa Rica on September 10.
On July 7, 2016, Volaris will begin service to Seattle from Guadalajara.
On May 9, 2016 the airline announced it will begin non stop flights between Monterrey and Dallas/Fort Worth; service will begin on July 8, 2016.
Volaris will also begin the first service link between Austin and Guadalajara on August 7, 2016.
Volaris has confirmed it does not plan to fly to Santiago de Chile, and rather focus in the US and domestic market, after a local newspaper announced the airline had plans to begin operations in South America.
The airline is headquartered in Santa Fe, Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City. It formerly had its headquarters on the first floor of Prolongación Paseo de la Reforma 490 in Peña Blanca, Santa Fe.
Main article: Volaris destinations
Volaris operates scheduled flights to Mexico (43) and elsewhere in the Americas (22) from Mexico City International Airport in Mexico City, Guadalajara International Airport, in Guadalajara, Tijuana International Airport in Tijuana and Monterrey International Airport in Monterrey.