Mexican carrier Volaris has announced that it will soon offer flights between Costa Rica and the United States, in a visible sign that ultra low cost airlines are swiftly spreading wings across the Americas.
Volaris, whose air fare is roughly equivalent to the price of a long-haul bus ticket, added a dozen new routes to the United States this year, with officials saying that it would launch another five US routes in 2018, extending its US operation to more than 60 routes.
The ultra low cost carrier model, pioneered by RyanAir in Europe, accounts for around 10% of commercial passenger traffic in the Americas, but it is clear that low cost carriers are bound to dominate the skies.
Despite low fares, Volaris earned about US$51 million in net income in the second quarter, a 10% increase in profit.
JetBlue is currently selling one-way tickets to destinations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America for as little as US$50. The airline has also sought regulatory approval for services in more cities in the Dominican Republic.
From Newark, Santo Domingo would become JetBlue’s fourth route to the Caribbean. The airline already flies year-round from the New Jersey airport to Santiago in the Dominican Republic and to San Juan in Puerto Rico. During the winter, JetBlue offers seasonal Saturday-only service between Newark and Barbados.