Press Releases

Irish Times (23rd October 2013)
CAPA (22nd October 2013)

The Context

  • Prior to our investment, the Mexican economy was developing rapidly, aided by strong fundamentals, NAFTA and significant scale (~100m population)
  • Mexico had a huge intercity bus market (over 2 billion trips per year) with potential to migrate to air travel as income rises
  • Irelandia had been investigating the market opportunity for some time
  • IAMSA, the major long distance bus company was actively interested in developing next stage of transport business – there was a strong alignment of interests which led to creation of our partnership. IAMSA had a strong network of 400 bus stations across country, and a deep understanding of the Mexican market

What was achieved

  • Followed Irelandia ultra LCC model formula
  • VivaAerobus features
    • Lowest seat cost in LatAm; competitive with bus
    • Stimulating travel via new routes and low fares, expanding market
    • Established ‘home’ base in Monterrey rather than higher profile Mexico City; added bases in Guadalajara and Mexico City
    • ‘No frills terminals in Monterrey & Guadalajara
    • Developed highly attractive world’s first intermodal bus & air services
  • Key focus on profitable growth. Established operating bases in Monterey, Mexico City  and Guadalajara
  • Over 19 aircraft and 4m passengers per year
  • Consistently profitable from 2009 (3rd full year of operation)

Key Lessons

  • Lowest cost and high efficiency are best guarantors of success and of resilience to market upheavals
  • Strong partner who is embedded in local market and with strategic capabilities adds to business strength

Irelandia Position

  • 3 board directorships led by Declan Ryan
  • Support of management between Board meetings on range of critical items
  • Irelandia investment in 2006