DALLAS – Colombian flag-carrier Avianca (AV) has made an official request to the Colombian Civil Aeronautics Authority to integrate budget airlines Viva Air Colombia (VH) and Viva Air Peru (VV).
Citing Viva’s “delicate financial situation,” management has requested that authorization be of the ‘utmost urgency.’ This, it states, is to make the airline “viable for the benefit of passengers, connectivity in Colombia and Peru, as well as to safeguard jobs that directly and indirectly depend on Viva.”
Listen to this article:
The takeover of VH and VV by AV was first announced in April 2022. A month later, AV announced it had signed a landmark deal with Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas (G3) to create a new Latin American airline group, Groupo Abra.
The Abra Group will own AV and G3, bringing together their iconic brands under a single company.
Abra plans to become a competitor to the LATAM Group, with significant operations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru markets. The joint venture will allow the group’s airlines to maintain their independent brands while reducing costs and expanding their route networks, services, product offerings, and loyalty programs.
Fight for Survival
Speaking of Viva Air’s intentions, President and CEO of AV Adrian Neuhauser said: “The integration request with Viva seeks to fight for its survival in the market, as well as to maintain the competitiveness it has built during ten years of operation.”
“Even with the complex outlook that aviation is experiencing in the world due to rising fuel prices, as well as the historical inflation in the region, Avianca has a solid financial position, evident in the recent announcements, which would allow it to achieve synergies and take advantage of economies of scale with Viva, provide financial support and participate in its management. We trust that the Aeronautical Authority will be able to study this request quickly, given its relevance for the country.”
Featured Image: The arrival of the airline’s first A320neo signaled a new livery and branding for Viva Air in 2021. Photo: Viva Air.