Avianca and Viva Air jointly issued this statement:
The majority shareholders of Viva and Avianca jointly announced that Viva will become part of the same holding company as Avianca Group International Limited (Avianca Group) and that Declan Ryan, founding partner of Viva, will join the board of directors of Avianca Group, bringing his decades of aviation experience.
Any transfer of control rights over Viva’s operations in Colombia and Peru by the new holding company will be subject to requesting and obtaining all necessary regulatory authorizations.
Until the receipt of necessary authorizations, control and administration of Viva in Colombia and Peru will be independent of Avianca; Viva will continue to compete with the other airlines within the Avianca Group. Until the authorizations are obtained, customers, suppliers, employees, and relationships for the companies will remain the same; with separate internal and external operations, as well as independent sales channels and customer service teams.
In the future, if competent authorities approve a change of control, the shareholders anticipate that both airlines may be part of the same holding company, maintaining their individual brands and strategies.
The decision to unify the economic rights of both groups is made after Covid-19 triggered the biggest crisis in the airline industry, forcing airlines around the world to adapt to new ways of flying and strengthen their operations. The pandemic has awakened countries worldwide to see the need to create solid and sustainable airline groups to guarantee and enhance domestic and international air connectivity and, at the same time, generate value for the consumer.
“This is an important day for Viva as it is the perfect scenario to continue with our growth and expansion strategy, staying true to our goal of inclusiveness in air travel. If the authorities approve the management of both groups under the same holding company, it will encourage the growth of the air transport market, promoting low rates for users and good service with the best punctuality, allowing everyone to fly with a world of destinations. This transaction and a potential future combination will create high-skilled jobs for our employees and our suppliers. By delivering the fundamental good of bringing people together, we will positively impact the connectivity of Colombia, the region, and the economic development of the country”, added Declan Ryan, founding partner of Viva.
Potential approval of a full combination will provide both Avianca and Viva with more financial stability allowing them to accelerate investment, innovation, and growth.