Ultra LCC Volaris Costa Rica was granted a foreign air carrier permit by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Dec. 19, opening the Central American subsidiary of Mexico City-based ULCC Volaris to begin flights to the US.

Volaris Costa Rica plans to launch round-trip flights to the US March 15, 2018, and has already initiated sales of four routes from San Jose, Costa Rica to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), New York JFK and Washington Dulles (IAD).

An ATW search on Volaris’ booking suite revealed that all of the proposed US flights are pending government approval. None of the routes will be direct from Costa Rica, however.

Twice-weekly flights to/from New York JFK will begin March 15 and fly via Volaris Costa Rica to Guadalajara, Mexico and then on to JFK via Volaris Mexico. Volaris will also begin 5X-weekly flights to LAX March 15, but will also variously stop in Guatemala, Nicaragua or El Salvador before the long-haul direct flight to/from Los Angeles. Twice-weekly flights to/from Washington DC will begin May 16, 2018 with the long-haul portion connecting in San Salvador. According to Volaris’ site, the majority of the LAX and Washington IAD flights will operate on Volaris Costa Rica aircraft.

Volaris Costa Rica launched operations in December 2016, and according to CEO Fernando Naranjo, planned to operate between 18 and 22 aircraft during its first three years.

As of Dec. 12, Volaris’ all-Airbus fleet comprises 71 aircraft, including six A320neos, 10 A321ceos, 43 A320ceos and 12 A319ceos.

In the 2017 third-quarter, Volaris posted its first quarterly profit for the year, reporting MXN731 million ($40.2 million) in third-quarter net income, down 27.6% from MXN1 billion in 3Q 2016.

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@informa.com