Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and Viva Aerobus announced a commercial alliance Wednesday aimed at increasing nonstop flight options between the U.S. and Mexico.
The two ultra-low cost carriers submitted a joint application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for approval of the alliance that would offer lower fares for flights between the two countries, Allegiant announced Wednesday. Allegiant and Viva Aerobus will also file for alliance approval with regulatory authorities in Mexico.
The DOT filing notes over 250 potential new routes, with some of those expected to be announced at a later date, pending approval of the alliance. It’s expected that flights tied to the alliance will begin in the first quarter of 2023.
As part of the deal, Allegiant will make a $50 million investment in Monterrey, Mexico-based Viva Aerobus and Allegiant Chairman and CEO Maury Gallagher is expected to join Viva Aerobus’ board of directors.
“Allegiant and Viva Aerobus operating together will be a tremendous win for consumers seeking affordable, nonstop travel between the U.S. and Mexico, and will create rippling economic benefits for hospitality sector business across both nations,” Gallagher said in a statement. “This groundbreaking alliance should reduce fares, stimulate traffic, and ultimately link many new transborder cities with nonstop service.”
Allegiant offers nonstop service to over 130 cities across the country, but does not currently serve Mexico. Viva Aerobus offers extensive service throughout Mexico and nonstop flights from Mexico to the U.S. and Latin America.
The alliance will provide Allegiant the opportunity to expand its travel offerings to include Mexican destinations such as Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.
The partnership will also give Viva Aerobus access to Allegiant’s distribution network and point-of-sale process, aimed at growing its U.S. customer base, while opening up the chance to add routes in the U.S.
The alliance could also allow Allegiant and Viva Aerobus to coordinate across all areas of airline operations including code-sharing, scheduling, marketing, information systems and loyalty programs.
“The U.S.–Mexico market is currently the largest international air travel market in the world; during the pandemic it has outperformed any other market due to a strong leisure visiting friends and relatives recovery where both Viva Aerobus and Allegiant have excelled,” Juan Carlos Zuazua, Viva Aerobus chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This unique ultra-low cost carrier alliance will create new non-stop connectivity and more competition, strengthening the immense Hispanic visiting friends and relatives market and offering amazing holiday getaways for residents of both nations.”