Category Archives: Avianca

United Airlines expands partnership with Copa Airlines and Avianca

United Airlines Boeing 777-224 ER N78017 (msn 31679) (Star Alliance) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 944609.

United Airlines today announced it has reached an agreement with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa Airlines), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca’s affiliates, for a joint business agreement (JBA) that, pending government approval, is expected to provide substantial benefits for customers, communities and the marketplace for air travel between the United States and 19 countries in Central and South America.

Many more choices for customers

By integrating their complementary route networks into a collaborative revenue-sharing JBA, United, Avianca and Copa plan to offer customers many benefits, including:

  • Integrated, seamless service in more than 12,000 city pairs
  • New nonstop routes
  • Additional flights on existing routes
  • Reduced travel times

Drive economic benefits for consumers and the communities we serve

The carriers expect the JBA to drive significant traffic growth at major gateway cities coast to coast, which is expected to help bring new investment and create more economic development opportunities. Further, the JBA is expected to provide customers with expanded codeshare flight options, competitive fares, a more streamlined travel experience and better customer service, resulting in significant projected consumer benefits.

Better serve our customers

Additionally, allowing the three carriers to serve customers as if they were a single airline is expected to enable the companies to better align their frequent flyer programs, coordinate flight schedules and improve airport facilities.

“This agreement represents the next chapter in U.S.-Latin American air travel,” said Scott Kirby, United’s president. “We are excited to work with our Star Alliance partners Avianca and Copa to bring much-needed competition and growth to many underserved markets while providing a better overall experience for business and leisure customers traveling across the Western Hemisphere.”

“We are delighted to further solidify our existing partnership with United Airlines and look forward to increasing service options for our customers by working more closely with Avianca,” said Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines’ chief executive officer. “We believe this agreement benefits our passengers by providing competitive fares and a superior network of more than 275 destinations throughout Latin America and the U.S., and promotes further growth and innovation within the airline industry in the Americas.”

“We are certain that together we are stronger in the United StatesLatin America market than any of the three airlines individually,” said Hernan Rincon, Avianca’s executive president – chief executive officer. “This partnership will allow Avianca to strengthen its position as a first-level player in the airline industry in America as we will expand our scope in the continent with United and Copa, offering better connectivity to our customers.”

JBAs drive competition that benefits customers

Although JBAs have been proven around the world to benefit consumers and enhance competition, currently 99 percent of the U.S. carrier passenger traffic that makes connections in Central and South America does so without a JBA. Competition in the U.S.-Latin American market has grown and includes a diverse set of carriers offering service across multiple price points. Yet the market lacks a comprehensive revenue-sharing, metal-neutral network of carriers and the associated heightened competitive forces that drive value and better consumer experiences. The JBA represents an innovative, best-in-class new product offering that will make competition in this robust market even stronger.

“Our analysis shows that a metal-neutral JBA among United, Copa and Avianca will provide substantial benefits to consumers traveling between the relevant countries,” said Dr. Darin Lee, executive vice president of economic consulting firm Compass Lexecon and airline industry expert. “This JBA will enable United, Copa and Avianca to compete more effectively, offer competitive fares, and increase service, encouraging innovation and establishing a more robust and vibrant marketplace.”

To enable the deep coordination required to deliver these benefits to consumers, communities and the marketplace, United, Copa and Avianca plan to apply in the near term for regulatory approval of the JBA and an accompanying grant of antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation and other regulatory agencies. The parties do not plan on fully implementing the JBA until they receive the necessary government approvals. The JBA currently includes cooperation between the U.S. and Central and South America, excluding Brazil.  With the recently concluded Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and Brazil, the carriers are exploring the possibility of adding Brazil to the JBA.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): United Airlines Boeing 777-224 ER N78017 (msn 31679) (Star Alliance) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 944609.

United aircraft slide show (Boeing):

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Avianca firms up its order for 100 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

Airbus (Toulouse) has issued this statement:

Airbus logo (large)

Following a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announcement in February, Avianca (Bogota) has signed a purchase agreement for 100 A320neo Family aircraft, the largest single order ever made in Latin America’s aviation history. The agreement, which includes A319neo, A320neo and A321neo aircraft (below), will allow Avianca to maintain one of the youngest fleets in the region as the airline aims to replace airplanes currently operating from their Bogota, Lima and San Salvador hubs.

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

Image Above: Airbus.

Avianca (2013) logo

Established in Colombia in 1919, Avianca was the first airline in the Americas, and is the second oldest airline in the world. The Airbus-Avianca partnership was taken to a new level in 1998 when TACA (now part of Avianca), LAN, and TAM placed a joint order for 90 single-aisle aircraft. This was the largest joint contract ever signed in Latin American commercial aviation history. To date, the Avianca airline group has ordered nearly 300 aircraft including 276 A320 Family (among them, 133 A320neo Family) and 15 A330 Family.

To date, the A320neo program has 345 firm orders from six customers in Latin America — Avianca, Azul, Interjet, LATAM Airlines Group, VivaAerobus and Volaris. With more than 950 aircraft sold and a backlog of nearly 500, more than 550 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In the last 10 years, Airbus has tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than 60 percent of all aircraft operating in the region.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Avianca will remain an Airbus A320 Family operator. Current generation Airbus A320-214 N724AV (msn 6153) climbs away from Miami International Airport (MIA).

Avianca (Colombia) aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Staff Photographers in every part

Avianca brings the Boeing 787 to Sao Paulo, outlines its upcoming 787 routes

Avianca (Colombia) (Bogota) landed for the first time in Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo on February 11 at 6:50 am. Coming from Bogota, Colombia, the aircraft is one of two that will make four daily flights between the two cities.

Avianca recently received four Boeing 787s, a total of 15 to be delivered over the next three years. The four new aircraft will serve routes that include, in addition to São Paulo and Bogota, Buenos Aires, New York, Santiago (Chile), Mexico, and, from June, Madrid, Barcelona and London (Heathrow).

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. N780AV (msn 37502) was delivered on December 17, 2014.

Avianca aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Avianca takes delivery of its first Boeing 787

Avianca (Colombia) (Bogota) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the Latin American carrier. The pictured Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N780AV (msn 37502) was handed over to the carrier today (December 18).

Avianca’s Boeing 787-8 will carry 28 passengers in business class and 222 in economy class. Passengers in both classes will also experience cabin environment improvements made possible on the 787 such as dynamic LED lighting, the largest windows, bigger overhead bins, a lower cabin altitude, a more humid environment, low interior noise, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

With 95 years in operation, Avianca is working to fly a younger fleet than ever, flying with leading-edge technology to 24 destinations in Colombia and 98 destinations in South America, North America and Europe.

To date, 58 customers have ordered 1,055 787s, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling twin-aisle airplane in Boeing history.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. N780AV lands at Paine Field after a test flight.

Avianca aircraft slide show:

Video: A test flight at Paine Field near Everett:

Avianca to resume Bogota-London flights, grounds its Fokker 50s

Avianca (Colombia) (Bogota) has announced it will resume regular service between Bogota and London (Heathrow) in July. Airbus A330s (above) are expected to be operated on the restored route.

In other news, the company has also announced its has temporarily grounded its remaining Fokker 50s. The company issued this statement:

“In line with the fleet renovation and modernization plan, Avianca S.A. is in the process of renewing its regional fleet by replacing the Fokker 50s with ATR 72-600 aircraft. The company currently operates a combined turbo prop fleet, consisting of four F okker 50s and four brand new ATR 72s.

In spite of the high technical standards and strict preventive maintenance processes, the company has in place, on January 28, a malfunction on one of the engines of a Fokker 50 operating on the Cali-Tumaco route before take-off. After performing all the proper inspections and going through all the safety procedures, Avianca S.A. has taken the preventive decision to temporarily ground its Fokker 50 fleet.

This preemptive security measure will allow Avianca S.A. and the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to establish the causes of the event, and implement the necessary corrective measures that will guaranty the aircraft ́s operational reliability.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N948AC (msn 948) rotates off the runway at Miami International Airport (MIA).

Avianca (Colombia): AG Slide Show

Is Avianca’s German Efromovich the savior of Alitalia or LOT Polish Airlines?

Avianca (2013) logo

Avianca’s (Bogota) owner, German Efromovich, is considering making a deal to acquire a share of struggling Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) or state-owned LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw). Any acquisition would be completed as an individual, not through Avianca which has expressed it does not have any interest in either airline.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Alitalia logo

 

LOT Polish logo

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