What makes Volaris from Mexico the world’s happiest airline? Interview with COO, Andres Fabre

Think of what an ideal airline would be like, one you’d love to fly. It will have the best on-time performance in the world. It will serve Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast. It will have rock-concerts and fashion shows in the air. It will have the happiest employees in the world, who go out of their way to help you travel well. Stop thinking. Welcome to Volaris Airlines, from Mexico.

I believe this is bound to go down as one of the most inspirational interviews on SimpliFlying, with the Chief Operating Officer of Volaris, the fastest growing Mexican airline. Late last month at the low-cost carrier conference in Miami, I caught up with Andres Fabre, who is also the first employee of the airline, to learn how he and his team has built from scratch an airline with astonishingly happy employees, satisfied customers and performance that even other airlines are talking about.

Watch the interview with Andres (7.43 mins) to hear him explain:

  • How the culture inside the company makes all the difference in performance (1.09)
  • How operational excellence can be achieved when by “enjoying life” (1.45)
  • Why the money-back guaruntee is an investment (2.20)
  • Who are the Service Ambassadors at Volaris (2.44)
  • Why making more people travel well is important (3.16)
  • How disruptive marketing campaigns like rock-concerts and fashion shows were held on-board (3.45)
  • How they can afford to serve free booze on-board (5.00)
  • How Volaris dealt with H1N1 flu positively (5.50)
  • Expansion to LAX and Oakland (Bay area), USA (6.30)

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Over a year ago, I proclaimed that airlines that go the extra mile to keep their employees happy will in turn reap benefits they can’t even begin to imagine. Southwest Airlines has proven the same and now it’s Volaris that demonstrates that a positive internal culture and work environment results in exceptional treatment of customers too.

The name Volaris, a fusion between the word volar (to fly) and the North Star Polaris, was selected from over 1000 proposals from common Mexicans. And it is the Mexicans who should be thankful to talents like Andres, who have given them an airline that is such a pleasure to fly with. And very soon, I believe it will be the best way to get from US to Mexico as well!

Enjoy the interview!

So, what do you think about Volaris? Isn’t it refreshing to learn about such an airline in gloomy times? Why aren’t other airlines doing something like this? Let’s discuss in the comments or over on Twitter (@simpliflying)

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Showing 11 comments
  • Patrick Murphy

    Well done Shashank.
    Let’s have more of these positive reports on airlines.

  • Sandra

    Happy employees??

    OK Let me tell you, most of the passengers that are “regular clients”, they love to fly with Volaris because of the service that is offered on board. When you buy a ticket you spend over 3 hours on a plane, not at the counters, not at the head quarters, not at the call center. The flight attendants do an amazing job, however, they are not as “happy” as te COO would like them to be, and he knows it. They have to share room when they stay overnight at the hotels.

    That is from any point of view unhygienic and certainly uncomfortable, since they have to share the room with a stranger, the tv, the closet, even the toilet and the shower!! Imagine that you have flown for 8 straight hours, all you want to do is get into your bed and sleep all night long, but you cant cause your “mate” wants to watch the tv, wants to smoke, wants to chat in his computer, and there is nowhere else to go! Ok, some people might be respectful… but most ARE NOT!! It’s a matter of principles. And the thing is, It’s just the flight attendants, from the whole crew, the ones that have to deal with this.

    So Mr. Nigam, if you happen to talk to him ever again, be so kind to tell him how he could get “happier on board costumer service ambassadors” I think they’ve earned it. He will be grateful to know it.

  • Uwe (Rolando) Goehl

    An interesting interview. It would be interesting to know if the average line employee feels the same way about the Company, as is the case at Southwest Airlines and Westjet.

  • Rafael Ibarra

    Additionaly, they have a “bus hub” in Mexico City’s top business area (Santa Fe) where customers can get a “complimentary” ride from their working area to the airport and back.
    They are growing because of their unique approach to customer service and some questionable issues on their direct competitors.
    ¡Un abrazo!

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  • FernandoLopezV

    You should research better, for your info they are the most discriminating airline in Mexico, let me give 2 examples, if you are a pilot and you want a job in Volaris, you must go thru a polygraph exam, I am a pilot and I have 2 friends who took the test, one is a 20 year old man, he works out everyday, plays soccer like 3 times a week, no drugs, no alcohol, devoted to his girlfriend, my other friend is like 25 year old, his father sells stollen merchandise in Mexico downtown, he drinks a lot, when he is not flying he is always partying hard, he cheated to get his commercial pilot license, now guess which one is working for Volaris? Well pilot no.2 is the one working for Volaris. But the worst thing about Volaris is that they are an age discriminating airline, if you are 25 years old or less, they hire you with 220 hours of total flight time, but if you are older than 25 you must have additional 90 hours for every year older, and if you are 40 years you may start forgetting about applying for a job with Volaris, that’s discrimination and its supposedly prohibited by the Mexican Laws, now tell me again Volaris is a happy airline

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