Source: Alcaldía de Palmira

MIAMI — Avior Airlines announced a new route that will connect Cali (CLO) with Caracas (CCS), starting on Monday, December 3. Cali becomes the airline’s third destination to Colombia, following Bogota (BOG) and Medellin (MDE), as well as the home base of its new Colombian subsidiary, Gran Colombia de Aviacion (GCA).

One of Avior’s Boeing 737-400s, with capacity for 132 passengers in economy class and 12 in business, will be covering the route in an estimated time of one hour and ten minutes. 

Avior Airlines 737-400

It is expected that the route’s frequency will be three days a week, scheduled on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays, departing at 2:45 pm from CCS and landing in CLO at 3:55 p.m.

As for the return, the plane will depart at 7:45 am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays, landing in CCS at 10:55 am.

Avior Airlines’ CEO, Juan Bracamonte, believes that this destination, in particular, will generate an economic, technological, and cultural exchange for both nations.

“We continue investing on the Colombian market, where we already have a double operation to Bogota and flights to Medellin,” said Jorge Áñez, President of the Avior Group.

“It is a pleasure for us that Cali is the third city of New Granada that we will serve and that we can take Latin American passengers on a direct flight to this beautiful tourist destination.”

Añez added that Cali stands out as a tourist power thanks to coffee, festivals and gastronomy, which becomes special for potential travelers from Venezuela and citizens of Latin America.

Avior Subsidiary in Colombia

In 2017, the Venezuelan carrier requested to start domestic operations in Colombia to the country’s Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics.

Recently thereafter, Avior was granted permission to launch its Colombian subsidiary. On August 17 of that same year, the airline Gran Colombia de Aviación, a subsidiary with headquarters in Cali, was founded.

The new carrier was given permission to fly a myriad of domestic routes from CLO, with Bucaramanga, Cartagena, and Cucuta being the most prominent.

GCA’s first Boeing 737-400 departing Cali on its certification flight.

Also, the airline was given permission to launch flights to Miami, Guayaquil, Lima, and Valencia.

In early November, the Bucaramanga Airport finished up the airline’s check-in counters, waiting for the airline’s AOC awarding.

Interestingly, since November 2017, Avior Airlines is prohibited from flying in much of Europe, after being added to the blacklist of the European Union due to deficiencies in its security system.

The Venezuelan carrier boasts a fleet of 14 aircraft: one Airbus A340-300, five Boeing 737-200s, seven Boeing 737-400s and one Fokker 50.

In the medium term, the airline expects to add 10 new routes to its fleet to connect Venezuela with Latin America, in addition to acquiring 5 aircraft and generating more than 2,400 new direct jobs for its maintenance and ground service subsidiaries.

Photo: Roberto Leiro

These expectations, however, are unfounded as the carrier had originally promised to bring five Airbus A340-300s two years ago to launch a major European expansion. To date, only one wide-body runs daily flights between the airline’s hub in Barcelona (BCN), in Central Venezuela.

In the second semester of this 2018, with the aim of favoring tourism in Venezuela and offering takeoffs and landings at more favorable times, Avior decided to change their hub to the International Airport of Maiquetía “Simón Bolívar”.

Written in collaboration with Genesis Suarez