Category Archives: Avianca (Colombia)

Avianca starts Boeing 787 all-cargo flights

Avianca has made this announcement:

Amid the extraordinary situation facing the world by the spread of COVID-19, Avianca Cargo is providing uninterrupted freight transport service now with the support of aircraft and passenger crew, to contribute to the supply of food, medical equipment, toiletries, and medicines. Early today, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, dedicated to passenger transport, made its first cargo flight, carrying nearly 20 tons of essential goods on each journey in its “belly.” With this flight, the cargo operation has already been transported 15,000 tons in the means of the crisis.

The flight took off at 01:30 local time in Colombia, with 4 pilots being part of Avianca and landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 07:30 hours. The cargo was carried at the bottom deck of the aircraft, the section dedicated to this purpose.

To operate this flight full of cargo, but with empty seats, it was necessary to take additional measures for the care and protection of onboard and ground personnel. The company established protocols to minimize physical contact, as well as provided cleaning kits and protective items to employees, antibacterial gel, gloves, and digital thermometers to the crew and staff members who have contact and are exposed to the public. Also, it has delivered alcohol and towels for cleaning keyboards and accessories in the offices and carried out additional disinfection work in bathrooms and offices of the cargo terminals.

Avianca Cargo currently has six Airbus A330-200F freighters, plus five aircraft from its affiliated company AeroUnion, three A300-600s, and two Boeing 767-200s. The fleet of this operation serves the international market covering Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Miami, Madrid, Brussels, and major Latin American cities.

From March 16 to the 22 alone, Avianca Cargo mobilized more than 6 million kilograms of cargo. Of this volume, 600 tons were food such as fish, fruits and vegetables, and another 250 tons of medicines, medical equipment, and toiletries. These volumes were achieved thanks to the operation of 138 freighter flights, of which 3 were charter service, supplemented by the capacity of the bellies of 720 passenger flights before the operation was restricted.

Avianca aircraft photo gallery:

Avianca suspends international operations, reduces domestic operations, grounds 132 aircraft

Avianca (Colombia) made this announcement:

As is public knowledge, most countries around the world have closed their borders, limiting mobility for domestic and foreign passengers in the region. This situation directly affects Avianca’s capacity to maintain its operation.

Therefore, starting at 00:00 hours on March 23, all international operations will be suspended and domestic operations in Colombia will be reduced by 84%. These decisions are complicated and painful for Avianca and its employees whose main purpose is to connect passengers to and from Latin America. Below are details of the actions that will be implemented:

1. Complete suspension of the international operation and reduction of domestic operation in Colombia by 84%: 

As of March 23 at 00:00 hours and until April 30, Avianca will fully suspend its international operation.  The domestic operation will include service from Bogota to capital cities and some regions. The above will be subject to the evolution of the situation, availability and willingness of clients to travel and additional measures that may be taken by local and national governments that affect the operation.

Therefore, flight scheduling may change on a daily basis and passengers will be informed when this happens. Avianca will inform changes through the Covid-19 website and other channels: Avianca Escucha @AviancaEscucha, email, Whatsapp for clients of the Diamond and Gold loyalty program and Avianca News Center.

The company will also be forced to ground 132 aircraft: 22 wide-body, 100 narrow-body and 10 ATRs. Avianca will use 5 Airbus A320s and 5 ATRs for its domestic operation.

2. Labor Measures

This unprecedented global situation for the airline industry requires difficult and immediate decisions as a result of the reduction of its operation. The following measures will be implemented starting today:

  • Hiring freeze.
  • Implementation of voluntary unpaid leave.
  • Negotiation of payment conditions with suppliers and partners.
  • Extension of non-essential costs and capital expenses.

3. Financial measures: cost control, savings and suspension of investments:

All investments, expenses or projects not tightly linked with maintenance and the domestic operation, as well as travel and events, will be suspended. Additionally, Avianca is negotiating with various partners to decide upon next steps.

“This is, without a doubt, the greatest crisis for the airline industry in history. The decisions we are taking not only hurt us, they are extremely difficult, but we must be flexible and face the situation. The full suspension of our international operation and the strong contraction of domestic demand, forces us to send most of our employees home. It is time for regional governments to take exceptional measures that mitigate the social and economic impact affecting hundreds of industries. If we want to reconnect Latin America and preserve the more than 20.000 jobs we create, we will need joint cooperation and collaboration of industry stakeholders and above all, the support and cooperation of governments”, said Anko van der Werff, President and CEO of Avianca Holdings.

During this situation, Avianca has cooperated with governments and embassies for foreign nationals in Colombia and other countries to return to leave the country and return home.

Avianca aircraft photo gallery:

Avianca Holdings announces fleet plan optimization

Avianca Holdings has made this announcement regarding its future fleet plans:

As part of the implementation of the “Avianca 2021 Plan”, Avianca management has reached the following agreements to tailor its aircraft commitments to its future requirements:

  • In cooperation with Airbus, the Company has reduced its firm commitments to 88 A320neo aircraft (from 108)
    • Previously scheduled firm A320neo family deliveries in 2020 through 2024 have been deferred or cancelled
    • The 88 remaining commitments are now scheduled for delivery in 2025 through 2028 (20 per year) with the balance in 2029 (8)
    • These agreements provide comprehensive financial benefits, with significant Capex reduction in the period through the end of 2024
  • Separately, Avianca has agreed to enter into 12-year operating leases for up to 12 A320neo aircraft with BOC Aviation
    • Deliveries to occur after 2023, consistent with the Avianca 2021 plan
  • Finally, Avianca reached a mutually beneficial agreement with Boeing with regards to the outstanding 787-9 deliveries

CFO Adrian Neuhauser said “The completion of these three major aircraft transactions, coupled with the recently completed financial reprofiling and securing of $375 million of new long-term capital financing, places Avianca in a solid position as it moves forward with the Avianca 2021 Plan.”

Avianca aircraft photo gallery:

Avianca Holdings completes its financial reprofiling and secures USD $375 million in new financing

Avianca has made this announcement:

Avianca Holdings S.A. has successfully renegotiated substantially all of its debt and lease obligations as well as reached agreements with its key suppliers. As a result, the airline was able to complete the funding of USD $250 million in mandatorily convertible loans by United Airlines, Inc. and an affiliate of Kingsland Holdings Limited. In addition, Avianca announced that it has secured an incremental USD $125 million of committed financing.

Completion of the Balance Sheet Reprofiling Program
Avianca successfully reached broad agreement with its creditors last week, allowing it to comply with key conditions precedent for funding of the Convertible Loans by United and Kingsland. In turn, the funding of the Convertible Loans allowed Avianca’s agreements with its creditors to go effective, reprofiling substantially all of its loans and aircraft lease obligations. In addition, funding of the Convertible Loans triggers the automatic exchange of approximately USD $484 millionaggregate principal amount of Avianca’s current May 2020 bonds (the “Secured May 2020 Bonds”) for secured bonds due May 2023 (the “Secured May 2023 Bonds”), under the terms of a previously announced, successfully executed exchange offer for Avianca’s original May 2020 Bonds (the “Unsecured May 2020 Bonds”).

Avianca’s finance team, led by its CFO, Adrian Neuhauser, successfully negotiated with more than 125 creditors and suppliers over the course of the financial reprofiling process launched in late June 2019.  In addition to securing extensions of Avianca’s bank lines and letters of credit and ensuring the exchange of over 88.1% of the Unsecured May 2020 Bonds for Secured May 2023bonds, the reprofiling program secured more than USD $250 million of additional cash relief from lessors, aircraft lenders and certain other corporate lenders, substantially strengthening the Company’s liquidity position.

Funding of USD $250 million of Financing
Avianca today received the previously-announced USD $250 million of committed financing from United and Kingsland. This financing consists of USD $250 million of Convertible Loans that mature in four years and with a 3% payment-in-kind (PIK) annual interest rate.  United funded USD $150 million and Kingsland funded USD $100 million. United and Kingsland’s Convertible Loans are convertible into the Company’s equity (common shares or preferred shares at the lenders’ option).

The Convertible Loans are subject to mandatory conversion any time after the first anniversary of the loan at the election of Avianca, subject to Avianca meeting certain conditions precedent, including, but not limited to: (i) a trailing six-month average daily ending cash balance (subject to certain adjustments) of at least USD $700 million and (ii) the AVH ADS trading price of at least USD $7.00 for 90 of the prior 120 trading days.

Additional USD $125 million of Financing Commitments 
Avianca announced today that, in addition to funding the Convertible Loans, it has secured USD $125 million financing commitments, in all cases subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions:

  • Avianca secured today USD $50 million in commitments –from a group of Latin American investors– to invest in convertible loans on substantially the same economic terms as the United/Kingsland Convertible Loans. Such loans shall convert into AVH preferred shares or ADRs.
  • Avianca also secured USD $75 million in commitments for senior secured convertible loans and bonds that are intended to provide liquidity to Avianca as a bridge to completion of a planned convertible bond offering to preferred shareholders of at least USD $125 million (see details below). These loans and bonds may be converted into AVH preferred shares or ADRs. Citadel will provide USD $50 million of such commitments.

Future Offering to AVH Preferred Shareholders
As previously disclosed, Avianca Holdings expects to offer its preferred shareholders the opportunity to participate in a minimum of USD $125 million of to-be-offered convertible bonds (the “Incremental Bonds”) during the first quarter 2020 under similar conditions to those established for the Convertible Loans, subject to adjustment for market conditions at the time such an offering is launched.  Details and timing of such offering will be made available to AVH preferred shareholders, subject to applicable regulatory review and approvals.

Key Stakeholder Support
Anko van der Werff, Avianca’s CEO, commented: “Today’s announcement coincides with Avianca’s 100-year anniversary and marks an important turning point for our Company as we achieve a critical key milestone of the Avianca 2021 Plan.  The trust placed in us by our creditors and business partners has enabled us to further execute on that Plan which will strengthen our financial and competitive position.  I would like to share my sincere appreciation to all of Avianca’s employees for their hard work and dedication, as well as to United and Kingsland for their support throughout this process.

We are incredibly excited about the future, and we remain focused on strengthening Avianca’s operating margins by controlling expenses, while exceeding our customers’ service expectations.”

Mr. Neuhauser added: “We are grateful for the support of our financial and commercial partners and the confidence they demonstrated by embracing our Company’s reprofiling program.  That support has enabled us to reach agreements with all key stakeholders that benefit all parties.

In addition, we are incredibly excited by the fact that, as a result of the successful reprofiling –and of Kingsland and United’s agreement to fund the Convertible Loans– we were able to, in a very short time period, raise incremental commitments for USD $125 million, underscoring the strength of our plan and further bolstering our liquidity.”

John Gebo, Senior Vice President, Alliances for United Airlines, Inc. said: “United Airlines, along with Kingsland, is very pleased to provide this permanent capital financing that enables Avianca to complete a highly successful reprofiling of its capital structure, the exchange of its 2020 bonds, and the securing of commitments for additional financing which, taken together, underpin and support the Avianca 2021 Plan.  That Plan calls for a comprehensive transformation of Avianca’s operational and profit performance led by Anko and Adrian.  We have every confidence they will deliver on the promising outcomes of that Plan, and we wish them and the whole Avianca family every success on that journey.”

Roberto Kriete, President of Kingsland Holdings, stated: “The fact that Avianca’s new management led by Anko and Adrian were able to successfully carry out the reprofiling speaks very highly of their sense of urgency and their execution abilities.  It marks a before and after in Avianca’s 2021 Plan.  Now with Avianca in a more stable financial position, the airline will be able to focus on the traveler and continue to accelerate its evolution into Latin America’s most beloved and profitable airline.”

Avianca aircraft photo gallery:

SMBC Aviation Capital delivers the first Boeing 787-9 to Avianca

SMBC Aviation Capital has announced the delivery of one Boeing 787-9 aircraft (N797AV, msn 43983) equipped with Trent 1000 engines to Avianca.

This aircraft is the first delivery of a three Boeing 787-9 sale and lease back PDP financed transaction with the airline. The second and third aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2021

Avianca Airlines enters its 100th year of uninterrupted operation, will expand in Europe

Avianca (Colombia) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N780AV (msn 37502) LHR (SPA). Image: 940718,

Avianca has made this announcement:

In 2019 Avianca Airlines, the only airline which connects directly London with Bogota, will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. It ratifies its position as the oldest airline in the Americas and the oldest in the world with uninterrupted operations.

In order to lay the foundations for the next century, Avianca wants to increase its presence in Europe and continue to offer an exceptional experience to its customers supported by the best technology available. “We are evaluating the possibility of adding a second frequency to London in the near future,” says Hernan Rincon, CEO and Executive President of Avianca Airlines. “Regarding new destinations, Zurich looks attractive as the next destination in Europe due to its location at the center of Europe. Moreover, the airline is also considering Rome and Paris,” added.

Avianca Airlines maintains a strong presence in Europe through different actions:

New Boeing 787: On October 2018, Avianca received its thirteenth Boeing 787, which it uses exclusively for flights to Europe. Its fleet is one of the newest in The Americas – seven years old on average- and all its flights to this continent are operated on Boeing 787, one of the most modern aircraft in the world. This aircraft can accommodate 250 passengers, 28 in business class and 222 in economy class. Its revolutionary design, together with cutting edge technology, reduces the effects of fatigue and jet lag. In addition, it has an innovative in-flight entertainment system, which has been recognized as the best in Latin America. All together contributing to an exceptional experience.

Route network: From Bogota, Avianca’s main hub, European passengers have access to more than 100 destinations within the Americas such as: Cusco in Peru, Galapagos in Ecuador, San Jose in Costa Rica, Medellinand Cartagena in Colombia, among others. On November 17th, the airline inaugurated the route MunichBogota. The carrier is the first Latin American airline to operate at this airport.

Avianca Airlines transported more than 1 million passengers between Europe and Colombia in 2018.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Avianca (Colombia) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N780AV (msn 37502) LHR (SPA). Image: 940718,

Avianca aircraft slide show:

Below Copyright Photo: Avianca Colombia Boeing 747-124 HK-2000 (msn 19734) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 102771.

AV on the tail - Best Seller

Below Copyright Photo: Avianca Colombia Boeing 720-059B HK-726 (msn 18831) MEX (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 940592.

Named "Narino", delivered on April 8, 1965 - Best Seller

Route Map (in Spanish):