Viva Aerobus loses $26 million in 2022

Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus reported a net loss of $26 million in the first half of the year despite having more passengers and operating revenue than in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Viva Aerobus highlighted the “unprecedented times the world has gone through” and the “significant external headwinds” including a 14-year record jet fuel price.

Financial losses

Viva Aerobus released its second-quarter financial results earlier this week, showing the company’s economic performance in the first half.

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The airline posted a net loss of $26 million in the first half despite record passenger numbers (8.72 million according to Mexican authorities and 9.43 million according to Viva).

This number of passengers led to a record $630 million in total operating revenue, up 61.5% from 2021 and 143% from 2019.

Juan Carlos Zuazua, Managing Director, commented,

“We cannot ignore the unprecedented times the world and, to varying degrees, the airline industry are going through. We are facing significant external headwinds, with 14-year record high prices for jet fuel at 4 US$.40 per gallon and supply chain disruptions affecting new aircraft, engines and spare parts deliveries.

However, not all is bad news. Despite a net loss in the first six months of the year, the airline also recorded a net profit between April and June ($3.9 million).

Airbus has delayed the delivery of nine new aircraft to Viva Aerobus. Photo: Viva Aerobus.

Fleet delays

Viva Aerobus was impacted by delays in aircraft and engine deliveries throughout the year.

Earlier this month, Viva Aerobus canceled two international routes and delayed the launch of eight domestic services from alternative airports in Mexico City due to delivery issues.

According to the airline, Airbus should have delivered nine additional new planes this semester but did not.

Instead, Viva Aerobus added six new airliners during the semester and currently operates 61 aircraft based on the Airbus A320 family. It has 20 A320ceos, 20 A320neos, nine A321ceos and 12 A321neos. A year ago, Viva Aerobus had 48 planes.

Delivery problems recently led Airbus to change its aircraft delivery estimate for 2022 from 720 aircraft to 700. However, reaching 700 will require a lot of work from Airbus (in the first half of the year, the European supplier did not delivered only 297 aircraft).

At the beginning of the week, the director general of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, acknowledged that the company was behind on the trajectory it had given itself and that it was trying to go as quickly as possible. “But we need parts, we need equipment, we need engines in particular. It’s the supply chain that’s the bottleneck.”

Viva Aerobus has a fleet of 61 aircraft. Photo: Viva Aerobus.

What can Viva Aerobus expect for the rest of the year?

Viva Aerobus and other Mexican airlines still face several challenges for the rest of the year.

The economic outlook is one of them, with fuel prices putting additional pressure on airline finances. Mexico must also regain its Category 1 status after being downgraded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which would allow Mexican carriers to return to growth in the robust Mexico-US market.


What do you think of Viva Aerobus’ financial results? Let us know in the comments below.

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