Mexico’s low-cost carrier, VivaAerobus, will start a new route between Houston, Texas, and Monterrey, Mexico, in July. Price for the twice-weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays) is less than $90 each way, including taxes and airport fees. Houston is the second U.S. city served by VivaAerobus, which also flies to Las Vegas, Nevada.
The airline offers flights to cities all over Mexico, flying out of hubs in Monterrey and in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. Destinations include popular tourist and expat cities like Cancún, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, Mérida, Oaxaca and Puerto Vallarta.
VivaAerobus’s standard fares tend to be slightly higher than what traditional airlines offer for booking well in advance. The budget carrier potentially offers big savings, therefore, for those flying on short notice. For instance, Continental’s lowest roundtrip fare between Houston and Monterrey in mid-July, booked now—over a month in advance—is $157. VivaAerobus’s fare for the same route on the same dates is $225. However, Continental’s lowest fare for the same trip in mid-June—booking only a week in advance—is nearly $550.
For those traveling within Mexico, VivaAerobus also provides additional flexibility on routes. On major carriers, flying from one city to another within Mexico usually requires flying to Mexico City’s busy airport and changing planes. VivaAerobus’s Mexico flights originate in either Monterrey, in northern Mexico, or in Guadalajara, in central Mexico. These cities may be more convenient for some travelers.
VivaAerobus is a joint venture between Iamsa, a leading Mexican passenger bus company, and Irelandia. The latter is an investment vehicle of the Ryan family, founders of Ryanair, the largest low-cost carrier in Europe. VivaAerobus was formed in 2006, with headquarters in Monterrey. After expanding in the Mexican market, it cut back routes in 2009 due to low travel during and after the swine flu epidemic. The new route between Houston and Monterrey connects the U.S. oil industry capital with Mexico’s most important industrial city.