Category Archives: Avianca Holdings

Avianca Holdings files for Chapter 11 reorganization, Peru to be shut down

Avianca Holdings, the parent of Avianca, has made this announcement:

Avianca Holdings S.A. and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates on May 10, 2020 filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to preserve and reorganize Avianca’s businesses. LifeMiles™, Avianca’s loyalty program, is administered by a separate company and is not part of the Chapter 11 filing.

The filing was necessitated by the unforeseeable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a 90% decline in global passenger traffic and is expected to reduce industry revenues worldwide by $314 billion, according to the International Air Transport Association. Avianca’s scheduled passenger operations have been grounded since mid-March, reducing its consolidated revenue by over 80% and placing significant pressure on its cash reserves.

Through the Chapter 11 reorganization process, Avianca intends to:

  • Protect and preserve operations so Avianca can continue to operate and serve customers with safe and reliable air travel, under the strictest biosafety protocols, as COVID-19 travel restrictions are gradually lifted;
  • Ensure connectivity and drive investment and tourism by continuing as Colombia’s flagship airline, serving over 50% of the domestic market in Colombia and providing essential non-stop service across South America, North America and European markets as well as continuing cargo operations, playing a key role in the economic recovery of Colombia and the Company’s other core markets following the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Preserve jobs in Colombia and other markets where the Company operates, with Avianca directly responsible for more than 21,000 jobs throughout Latin America, including more than 14,000 in Colombia, and working with more than 3,000 vendors; and
  • Restructure the Company’s balance sheet and obligations to enable Avianca to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as comprehensively address liabilities, leases, aircraft orders and other commitments.

“Avianca is facing the most challenging crisis in our 100-year history as we navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anko van der Werff, Chief Executive Officer of Avianca. “Despite the positive results yielded by our ‘Avianca 2021’ plan, we believe that, in the face of a complete grounding of our passenger fleet and a recovery that will be gradual, entering into this process is a necessary step to address our financial challenges.”

“When government-mandated air travel restrictions are lifted and we are able to gradually resume our passenger flights, we look forward to welcoming back our furloughed employees and playing a leading role in restarting the economy in Colombia and our other key markets. We greatly appreciate the dedication of our employees to Avianca and to serving the more than 30 million passengers that fly our airline each year. We remain committed to our purpose to connect people, families and businesses. Our customers can be confident that they can continue to depend on Avianca for safe, reliable and high-quality service, and our valued LifeMiles™ members can expect to accrue and redeem miles as normal,” Mr. Van der Werff continued.

Avianca – like many other airlines around the world, including in the United States, the European Union, and Asia as well as in Latin America – is seeking financial support from the governments of the countries where it provides essential services. Avianca continues to be engaged in discussions with the government of Colombia, as well as those of its other key markets, regarding financing structures that would provide additional liquidity through the Chapter 11 process and play a vital role in ensuring that the Company emerges from its court-supervised reorganization as a highly competitive and successful carrier in the Americas. In the interim, while these discussions are ongoing, the Company intends to utilize its cash on hand, combined with funds generated from its ongoing operations (such as cargo), to support the business during the court-supervised reorganization process.

Mr. Van der Werff added, “We believe that a reorganization under Chapter 11 is the best path forward to protect the essential air travel and air transport services that we provide across Colombia and other markets throughout Latin America. Avianca has operated for more than 100 years – only the second airline in the world to achieve this milestone. We are confident that through this process we can continue to execute our ‘Avianca 2021’ plan, optimize our capital structure and fleet of aircrafts and – with government support – emerge as a better, more efficient airline that operates for many more years.”

Measures to Protect Employees and Suppliers

As part of the process, Avianca has presented various motions before the Court in support of its reorganization and the Company expects the court to decide on these requests in the coming days. The Company has requested authority to pay certain prepetition employee wages, compensation and benefit obligations owed from before the filing date, as well as a request to continue paying wages and honoring employee benefit programs in normal day-to-day operations. Avianca has also requested authority to honor various prepetition obligations owed to certain of its travel agency partners, vendors and suppliers from before the filing date. The Company intends to pay vendors and suppliers, as well as travel agency partners in the ordinary course for goods and services provided on or after the filing date during its Chapter 11 process.

Continuing to Serve Customers

Avianca has also filed motions to maintain its network and customer programs throughout this process and customers can expect to continue to arrange travel and fly with Avianca in the same way they always have. Customers can expect to use tickets, vouchers and gift cards purchased before Avianca initiated this process. Avianca customers will continue to accrue miles when they fly with Avianca, and can continue to redeem miles earned through LifeMiles™ to purchase tickets with Avianca during this process. Additional frequent flyer benefits remain active, including access to VIP Lounges, priority check-in, upgrades and other benefits. Avianca also expects to continue to issue ticket refunds and honor travel coupons and payments or credits associated with baggage or service claims in adherence with our current policies. Given the impact COVID-19 has had on travel plans, Avianca will continue to waive change fees and other penalties associated with changes to customers’ travel plans for tickets purchased until October 31, 2020.

When COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, Avianca plans to resume passenger flights with the strictest biosafety protocols.

“Avianca 2021” Plan and COVID-19 Impact

Last year, Avianca successfully launched the “Avianca 2021” plan, and throughout 2019 and in the first two months of 2020, the Company had achieved significant positive results from this plan. Through the plan, the Company redesigned its network with 130 routes to 76 destinations in 27 countries, adding to the launch of a new pricing model “branded fares” in domestic markets in Ecuador and Colombia, including flights to and from Europe. These initiatives, along with customer-centric programs, had resulted in improved operational indicators, with a passenger-itinerary-completion rate of 98.7 percent and a 6-point increase in customer satisfaction. Consistent with the plan, in early 2020 the Company concluded a successful out-of-court reprofiling of its financial debt and lease obligations and raised $375 million in new financing.

However, just as is the case with other airlines around the world, Avianca’s operations have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting government-mandated air travel restrictions, while the Company continues to have high fixed costs. Of the total number of countries in which Avianca operates, 88 percent have total or partial passenger air transport restrictions, forcing the airline to take a series of extraordinary and structural measures. These have included employee furloughs, temporary wage reductions, reductions in non-essential capital expenditures and temporary deferred payments on long-term leases. Avianca has limited visibility as to when current travel restrictions will be lifted and, once such restrictions are lifted, it does not expect revenues to return to pre-pandemic levels in the short-term as the effects on travel are expected to be long-lasting. These factors, coupled with Avianca’s substantial financial obligations, made it necessary for Avianca to explore alternatives to reorganize its operations and restructure its debt.

Peru Operations

In parallel to its Chapter 11 filing in the U.S., Avianca intends to commence a wind-down of its operations in Peru pursuant to local laws. This decision supports essential right-sizing efforts and will allow Avianca to renew its focus on core markets upon emergence from its court-supervised reorganization.

Chapter 11 Process and Advisors

The Chapter 11 process is a well-established legal process in the United States of America that is recognized by other countries around the world. The process is a temporary one that, according to U.S. law, allows a company to reorganize and complete a financial restructuring under the supervision of the U.S. court system, while continuing its operations under the oversight of its board of directors and management team. Many companies, including many airlines, have used the Chapter 11 process to reorganize their financial obligations and emerge as stronger organizations. Avianca itself underwent a Chapter 11 process in 2003 that allowed it to position itself for expansion in Latin America.

To best position Avianca to successfully complete the Chapter 11 process, the Company’s Board of Directors has retained world-class advisors, including Seabury Securities LLC and FTI Consulting, which are serving as financial advisors to Avianca, as well as Milbank LLP, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados and Urdaneta, Vélez, Pearl & Abdallah Abogados, which are serving as legal counsel. The Company’s Board of Directors has also been advised by Willis Towers Watson, an independent compensation consultant, in the establishment of best-practices retention programs for certain employees who are essential to the Company’s Chapter 11 reorganization.

Avianca (Colombia) 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 El Salvador retires its last Embraer 190

The last Embraer 190 revenue flight operated with N936TA on July 1, 2019 (flight TAI 316 Panama City - San Salvador)

Avianca Holdings is streamlining its operations and selling off certain assets due to its on-going reorganization.

The group announced the plan to retire its former TACA Embraer 190 fleet which never adopted the Avianca brand.

Avianca (El Salvador) (formerly TACA), as planned, has now phased out its last Embraer 190. The pictured N936TA operated the last revenue flight for the type as flight TAI 316 on July 1, 2019 from Panama City to the San Salvador base.

Avianca (El Salvador) operates between El Salvador and the following destinations:

  • Belize
  • Bogotá
  • Cali
  • Cancún
  • Ciudad de Guatemala
  • Ciudad de México
  • Ciudad de Panamá
  • Guayaquil
  • La Habana
  • Liberia
  • Lima
  • Managua
  • Medellín
  • Quito
  • Roatán
  • San José de Costa Rica
  • San Pedro de Sula

Avianca Holdings S.A., previously announced on June 4, through its subordinates Grupo Taca Holdings Limited and Nicaraguense de Aviacion S.A., it closed the sale of its shares in Turboprop Leasing Company Ltd., parent company of the Costa Rican airline Servicios Aéreos Nacionales S.A (SANSA) and in Nicaraguan airline Aerotaxis La Costeña S.A (La Costeña).  These airlines operate domestic flights in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, respectively.

The buyer is Regional Airlines Holding LLC., domiciled in Delaware, USA. The transaction was closed on May 31, 2019 by perfecting the contract for the purchase and sale of shares entered into on April 22 between the parties.

This transaction occurs within the framework of the Holding’s new corporate strategy aimed at strengthening its international passenger transportation segment, as well as focusing on the loyalty (LifeMiles) and cargo transportation (Avianca Cargo) business units.

It is important to note that with this transaction, thirteen Cessna 208 and two ATR 42 aircraft will no longer be part of Avianca Holdings’ fleet, in line with the company’s fleet simplification strategy.

In Costa Rica, the Holding has its own airline (Avianca Costa Rica S.A.), operating direct flights to the company’s three hubs: (San Salvador, Bogota and Lima); as well as the Guatemala City and Panama City. Likewise, flights to destinations in Canada, Chile, Ecuador, the United States and Mexico are operated with Costa Rican crews.

Top Copyright Photo: TACA International Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N936TA (msn 19000215) MIA (Brian McDonough). Image: 908637.

Avianca signs a MOU for 100 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

Avianca (Colombia) A320neo and A321neo (13)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 100 A320neo Family aircraft. Avianca will base its fleet renewal strategy on the A320neo Family.

Avianca has partnered with Airbus on its fleet modernization and expansion programs for years. In 2012, Avianca ordered 51 A320 Family aircraft, including 33 A320neo aircraft. The airline group has combined orders for nearly 200 Airbus aircraft, with nearly 130 currently in operation.

Firm orders for the NEO reached over 3,600 aircraft from 70 customers.

To date, the A320neo program has 245 firm orders from seven customers in Latin America — Avianca, Azul, Interjet, LAN, TAM, VivaAerobus and Volaris. With more than 850 aircraft sold and a backlog of nearly 400, more than 550 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Image:

Avianca (Colombia) aircraft slide show:

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Avianca Holdings reports an operating profit of $70.3 million for the third quarter

Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) reported operating income (EBIT) of $70.3 million for the third quarter (3Q).

As a result the operating margin for 3Q 2014 reached 5.7%, an increase of 130 basis points over the 2Q of 2014. The operating income (EBIT) for the nine-month period of 2014 was $170.1 million; as a result, the operating margin for the first nine months of 2014 was 4.9%.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Avianca’s (Colombia) Airbus A320-233 N603AV (msn 5840) with Sharklets arrives in Los Angeles.

Avianca aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Avianca Holdings reports adjusted net income of $99.1 million in the third quarter

Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) for the third quarter of 2013 reported a consolidated adjusted net income of $99.1 million (all amounts in US dollars) excluding FX effects related to liabilities denominated in Colombian Pesos and on the gain on sale of assets. This represents an increase of 151.3% over the same period in 2012. Avianca´s adjusted net profit margin increased by 450 basis points reaching 8.5%. Including the aforementioned effects on net income, Avianca Holdings S.A. and its subsidiaries generated a net income of $39.9 million.

Operating revenue came in at $1.182 million, representing an increase of 9.6% over the same period of 2012. Said increase is the result of a rise of 9.4% in passenger income resulting from a growth of 3.5% in carried passengers. Cargo and other revenues grew by 10.9%. This increase is mainly driven by the cargo and loyalty program business unit.

Revenue per Seat Kilometer (RASK) grew 3.6% whereas the Cost per Available Seat Kilometer (CASK) in 3Q 2013, grew from USD$10.3 cents to USD$10.4 cents, an increase of 1,5% with respect to the same period in 2013.

EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rentals) increased 23.1% with respect to 3Q 2012. The EBITDAR margin reached 20.1%.

Operating income (EBIT) for 3Q 2013 rose to $132.2 million, a 32.2% increase with respect to the $100.0 million reached in the same period in 2012. The operating margin in 3Q 2013 came in at 11.2%, increasing by 1.9pp with respect to 3Q 2012. Said rise was generated by an increase in operating revenue as well as by cost control measures.

Capacity, measured in ASKs (Available Seats per Kilometer) grew by 5.87% throughout 3Q 2013. This growth is driven by the expansion of Avianca’s operations in its core markets, the incorporation of larger aircraft as well as an improvement in operating cycles of 1.1%. Traffic measured in RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometer) grew 5.9%, resulting in a Load Factor of 82.0% representing an increase of 20 basis points with respect to the Load Factor of 3Q 2012.

In accordance with the fleet renovation and modernization plan, between July and September 2013, the company through its subsidiary Avianca S.A., took delivery of one Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets (see above), one ATR 72-600 and one A330-200 freighter. As a result, Avianca Holdings S.A. subsidiaries ended the quarter with a consolidated operating fleet of 154 aircraft.

With these third quarter results, Avianca Holdings S.A. reports a consolidated net income for the last 9 months of $183.4 million, reaching accumulated net margin of 5.4% year to date.

During the remainder of 2013, the company expects to continue with a capacity expansion in its key markets, as a result the company forecasts ASK growth between 7% and 8% for the full year 2013 compared to 2012. In terms of passenger traffic, the company expects a sustained growth during the remainder of 2013. Passenger numbers are expected to increase between 9% and 10% for the full year 2013 and as a result the load factor should stand between 79% and 80%.

Avianca Holdings S.A. is an investment firm that serves as an instrument for the execution of the shareholders agreement which resulted in the integration process known as AviancaTaca and acts as the controlling company for the integrated operation of various airlines that operate both domestically and internationally: Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. Avianca (Avianca), Tampa Cargo S.A. incorporated in Colombia, Aerolíneas Galápagos S.A. Aerogal incorporated in Ecuador, and the companies that make up the TACA Group: TACA Internacional Airlines S.A., incorporated in El Salvador; Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A., LACSA, incorporated in Costa Rica, Trans American Airlines S.A. TACA Peru incorporated in Peru, Servicios Aéreos Nacionales S.A., SANSA incorporated in Costa Rica, Aerotaxis La Costeña S.A., incoporated in Nicaragua and Isleña de Inversiones C.A. de C.V. ISLEÑA incorporated in Honduras.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-233 D-AXAS (msn 5840) was handed over to Avianca (Colombia) as N603AV on November 5.

Avianca (Colombia): AG Slide Show

Avianca Colombia cancels 160 domestic flights due to a pilot pay dispute

Avianca (Colombia) ATR 72-600 F-WWEE (HK-4954)(13)(Ldg) TLS (ALC)(LRW)_edited-1

Avianca Colombia (Bogota) has cancelled 160 domestic flight through next Wednesday because its pilots are refusing to work overtime due to a pay dispute according to Reuters.

Avianca’s 1,000 pilots are demanding a 15 percent pay increase from the company. Avianca Colombia is a part of Avianca Holdings. TACA’s pilots and other pilots under the Avianca brand are not involved in the dispute.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Aldo Ciarini. Avianca added its first ATR 72 on July 3, 2013 when the pictured ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) F-WWEE was handed over as HK-4954 (msn 1092). The new type is pictured landing at Toulouse before the delivery.

Avianca (Colombia): AG Slide Show

Avianca Holdings today retires the TACA brand, updates its logo, livery and product

Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) today (May 28) as planned, formally retired the TACA brand and the previous AviancaTaca Holding company. All aircraft will be repainted in the new Avianca brand. Avianca is updating its logo, livery and product as we previously reported. This announcement will end the history of TACA and AviancaTaca Holding. Our slide show below recalls the aircraft and many liveries of TACA International. The holding company issued this statement:

As announced in late 2012 and after three years of intense work aimed at integration and reorganization of operations and processes, ground and air equipment modernization, and the adoption of industry best practices, the airlines in Avianca Holdings S.A. (formerly known as AviancaTaca Holding S.A.) begin a new stage in their business development under the commercial brand Avianca, with its new visual standards.

Avianca (2013) logo

Honoring the business development reached by Avianca and TACA Airlines with 94 and 82 years of uninterrupted operations, respectively, the new identity bonds the heritage of the route network, envisioning connecting the continent through all cardinal points, capturing in the logo the service provided through the skies of the Americas.

Avianca (2013) Tail (Avianca)(LR)

The image of the “new Avianca” will be displayed in over 160 airplanes, 14 thousand seats onboard, 214 ticket offices, 100 airports, VIP lounges in 25 countries, as well as the corporate buildings in the Americas and Europe. This new image will also dress over 13,000 employees with client service positions -out of the 18,000 total-, and identify our new integrated website, social networks, onboard reading materials, and corporate communications media in general.

This new image highlights a very important chapter in the airline´s history, striving to provide a strong product and service offer in order to become the ideal partner for business and leisure travelers.

Avianca (2013) cabin (Avianca)(LR)

Fabio Villegas, Avianca Holdings CEO said: “The single commercial brand represents a very important milestone for an improved flight offer and an interesting challenge to Avianca’s service capacity. For that reason, the airlines’ background and the professionalism and experience shared by the many generations of men and women who have contributed with their work to Avianca, TACA Airlines, Aerogal, and Tampa Cargo, have become our inspiration.”

“More than 5.100 weekly flights operated on a modern fleet enable us to help our travelers reach 100 destinations in 25 countries throughout the Americas and Europe, provide access to 21.900 daily flights served around the world by Star Alliance member airlines, be preferred by more than 23 million passengers who choose our services yearly for their travel plans and the transportation of 300 thousand tons of goods. This motivates us to assure the “new Avianca”, as the leading airline in Latin America preferred by the world´s travelers,” quoted the executive.

Three years of achievements

Fleet. The combined fleet size between Avianca and TACA Airlines at the moment of their integration was 129 aircraft. Currently the company has 151 aircraft in operation. Within its fleet modernization plan, Avianca recently announced the incorporation of Airbus A320neo airplanes equipped with new generation engines, as well as aircraft fitted with sharklets, which provide a 4% better fuel economy than previous models. Avianca welcomed the first aircraft of this type to its fleet in February.

Tampa Cargo acquired four new A330-200 freighters with cargo capacity of 68 tons in order to strengthen the cargo business. The first aircraft of its type joined the fleet in December of last year.

The company also announced the standing offer to purchase 15 ATR 72-600 aircraft, along with the option to purchase an additional 15 of the same model. This turboprop fleet is intended to serve routes within Colombia and Central America and will join the fleet beginning July this year. Finally, the company has confirmed the purchase order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, to operate transatlantic routes starting in 2014.

Route Network. Currently, the “new Avianca” covers 100 destinations in 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, through 5,100 weekly flights. The domestic and international connections operate from and to Bogota (Colombia), with more than 2,656 weekly flights, San Salvador (El Salvador), with 532 weekly flights, and Lima (Peru) with 483 frequencies per week. Also connections to and from other Latin American capitals are part of this comprehensive route network.

In addition to its own network, travelers connecting through Avianca are able to reach more than 1,320 cities around the world thanks to code-share and interline agreements with world renowned airlines, granting access to 990 VIP lounges and enjoying multiple benefits provided by the Star Alliance network around the world.

Transported Passengers. As a result of the synergies of the route network, the airlines in Avianca Holdings S.A. have experimented passenger growth. A comparison between 2010 and 2012 reflects an increase of 31.88%. In 2010, the airlines transported 17´510.881 passengers, reaching 20´454.924 in 2011, while in 2012 the number increased to 23´092.533 passengers.

Joining Star Alliance. Avianca and TACA Airlines officially joined Star Alliance on June 21, 2012, which is the largest global airline network in terms of daily flights, coverage, and services. As a result travel advantages and options for our travelers multiplied. In order to be accepted as member airline of the alliance, multiple requirements had to be fulfilled along with several service and operational standards. The “new Avianca” maintains these standards and complies with the periodical audits required.

Avianca Cargo. In 2010 the Cargo businesses of Avianca, TACA, and Aerogal were integrated to Tampa Cargo, building on more than 100 years of experience in the field. After centralizing management, operations, and service the cargo offer underwent a strengthening process. As part of this process the airline announced the acquisition of 4 A330-200 freighters with 68 ton capacity and became the first airline to operate this model in Latin America.

With the expansion of capacity through dedicated aircraft, as well as the bellies of the passenger fleet, the route network was also broadened to meet importer and exporter needs in Latin America, accompanied by the implementation of new integrated technologies for all the business. Today, under the name “Avianca Cargo” this business unit focuses on delivering increased connectivity and services through advanced technology and a highly specialized human team.

Technology. Avianca continues moving forward in the implementation of the latest technology in order to better serve its passengers. In addition to online tools for checking fares, booking reservations, purchasing tickets and seat selections, the airline has been implementing self-check-in modules in 36 of the airports where it currently operates. Travelers can also make use of the web check-in feature for routes in the Americas, allowing them to check-in from the comfort of their home or office.

Passengers may also check-in using their smartphones. This service is initially available for domestic flights in Colombia and Peru, and direct international flights, except Europe, from El Salvador and Medellin and from Bogota to South America, improving check point and boarding times by showing the boarding pass on their smartphones.

VIP Lounges. This past February, Avianca opened its new 2,000 square meter VIP Lounge located in the international terminal of Eldorado Airport in Bogota, aimed at the members of its frequent flyer program, LifeMiles, and business class travelers. In meeting its service improvement plan, the airline will also refresh the VIP lounges in Cali, Barranquilla, Medellin, Cartagena, and San Salvador.

LifeMiles. It was the first joint business deliverable. The unified loyalty program was the result of integrating best practices of both Avianca and TACA, and improving them based on studies on the leading loyalty programs from top airlines around the world. LifeMiles has more than five million members and was recognized by travelers with a Freddie Award in the category of Best Redemption Ability, making it the only loyalty program in Latin America to receive a Freddy Award during the 2013 edition.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. All others by Avianca. A look back at one of the first jets for TACA International. BAC 1-11 407AW YS-17C (msn 093) taxies to the runway at Miami on October 19, 1980.

Avianca: AG Slide Show

TACA: AG Slide Show