Volaris cancels Mexico City route due to FAA Category 2 classification


  • Volaris-Getty

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    Very low cost carrier

    Guadalajara International Airport, Mexico City International Airport, Tijuana International Airport

    Year of foundation:

    Enrique Beltranena


Enrique Beltranena, chief executive of Mexico’s ultra-low-cost airline Volaris, said on Friday it was unlikely the airline would be able to launch its route from Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU) to Madrid International Airport. Los Angeles (LAX) later this year. . Mexico, which remains downgraded to Category 2 status by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is limiting Volaris’ growth.

Itinerary cancelled?

For the Mexican government, having a direct route from NLU to the United States would be a great addition. Felipe Ángeles International Airport was inaugurated earlier this year. So far, there is only one international flight (Caracas by Conviasa) and three international services announced (Viva Aerobus to Havana, Copa Airlines to Panama and Volaris to Los Angeles). The remaining active and future flights all consist of domestic services operated by Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.


That’s why Volaris’ announcement that it plans to fly between NLU and LAX by the end of the year was great news. However, the launch of this route was dependent on Mexico returning to Category 1 status.

The FAA downgraded Mexico to Category 2 in May 2021 after determining that Mexican civil aviation authorities failed to meet ICAO safety standards. Earlier this month, it was reported that Mexican authorities had failed a technical review. This result would keep the country in Category 2 until the end of the year, possibly probably until 2023.

On Friday, Enrique Beltranena addressed the subject. He said,

“The Category 2 subject is regrettable; it’s a significant delay and definitely we won’t be able to launch the Los Angeles route in December.

Volaris will not launch its Felipe Ángeles-Los Angeles route. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.

Routes of Volaris from NLU

By October, Volaris plans to operate 70 weekly flights (ten per day) from Felipe Ángeles International Airport. It will make more than 13,020 places available each week. This represents a 400% increase in flights and capacity for Volaris compared to what the airline is currently operating in July.

Volaris will operate 12 domestic routes from NLU in October. These are the routes:

  1. Acapulco (ACA), four weekly flights
  2. Cancun (CUN), 14 weekly flights, against seven currently.
  3. Guadalajara (GDL), seven weekly flights
  4. Huatulco (HUX), three weekly flights
  5. La Paz (LAP), three weekly flights
  6. Mérida (MID), seven weekly flights
  7. Mexicali (MXL), seven weekly flights
  8. Oaxaca (OAX), four weekly flights
  9. Puerto Vallarta (PVR), seven weekly flights
  10. Puerto Escondido (PXM), three weekly flights
  11. San José del Cabo (SJD), four weekly flights
  12. Tijuana (TIJ), seven weekly flights.

The airline will operate these flights entirely with Airbus A320neo aircraft, according to data from Cirium.

Volaris will operate 70 weekly flights from NLU by October. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.

NLU Connectivity

Currently, there are 52 weekly flights from NLU, according to data provided by Cirium.

Viva Aerobus currently operates the most flights and routes, serving seven routes.

By October, NLU will offer 214 weekly flights (33,370 seats available), an increase of 311.5%. Aeromexico will offer nine routes, Copa Airlines one, Conviasa one, Viva Aerobus seven and Volaris 12. In terms of flights per week and capacity, Aeromexico will offer 105 (13,125 seats), Volaris 70 (13,020 seats), Viva Aerobus 35 ( 6,510), Copa Airlines three (462) and Conviasa one (253 seats).

When do you think Mexico will regain its Category 1 status, and what impact do you expect to see on Mexican airlines? Let us know in the comments below.


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