The Mexican LCC Interjet has held a unique position in the market since its inception during the mid-2000s, along with the more traditional low cost airlines Volaris and VivaAerobus. Interjet has operated as more of a hybrid airline, offering more seat pitch than its fellow low cost competitors, and complimentary food and beverages. The airline has worked to attract a mix of both business and leisure travellers, rather than focusing largely on the VFR (visiting friends and relatives) passenger segment.
Interjet is now Mexico’s third largest airline measured by passengers carried, after having toggled back and forth in the second place position with Volaris for many years. During the past couple of years Interjet’s international passenger numbers have grown rapidly, jumping 53% year-on-year in 2016, and rising 45% for 1H2017.
During 2017 Interjet is adding service to Canada, as well as absorbing the addition of new US transborder routes that it launched in 2016, which were made possible by a more liberalised bilateral between Mexico and the US.
But new competitive dynamics are emerging in Interjet’s largest international market – the launch of Aeromexico’s joint venture with Delta, and the planned expansion by Mexican and US airlines from Interjet’s largest base, Mexico City, after they have obtained slots at the airport. Those two developments, along with Interjet’s own expansion, are resulting in an uptick in Mexico-US capacity; but Mexican airlines serving the market are working to create a place for themselves as demand between the two countries remains steady.
Interjet’s domestic market share remained essentially stable year-on-year in 1H2017, dropping slightly from 22% to 21% year-on-year. Volaris has now firmly entrenched itself as Mexico’s second largest airline, holding a 28% share of Mexico’s passengers in both 1H2016 and 1H2017.
For many years Interjet and Volaris were more closely tied for the title as Mexico’s second largest airline, but Interjet’s international share among Mexican airlines has grown during the past two years – jumping from 14% in 2015 to 18% in 2016.
For 1H2017, Interjet’s international passenger numbers grew by 45%, to nearly 1.3 million, and its passenger share reached 20%. Nearly 22 million passengers travelled on Mexico’s domestic routes in 1H2017, an 11% increase year-on-year. Mexican airlines transported approximately 6.3 million international passengers in 1H2017 – a 19% increase year-on-year.