DALLAS – Colombian flag carrier Avianca (AV) is to merge with Viva Air (FV), another of the country’s most prominent commercial airlines.
The airlines announced the merger on Friday, adding that they will maintain separate identities and objectives, retaining their distinct branding and business strategies once they have joined forces.
The consolidation of the carriers economically under one holding group seeks to strengthen the airlines as a way to counteract the adverse circumstances the industry has faced due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Avianca Group’s eventual takeover of Viva’s activities in Colombia and Peru is subject to clearance from both countries’ regulators.
Comments from Avianca, Viva Air
The companies said in a joint statement, “Majority shareholders from both airlines together announce that Viva will form part of Avianca Group International Limited (Avianca Group), while Viva founding member Declan Ryan will join the board of the new group, bringing all his expertise in aviation.”
The deal harkens back to 20 years ago when ACES merged with major competitors Avianca and SAM to form the Alianza Summa, a strategic alliance aimed at joining forces amid the ensuing crisis the airline industry faced in Colombia and the world after the September 11 attacks.
Avianca completed a restructuring process at the end of 2021, enabling it to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The airline employs about 12,000 people and operates more than 110 aircraft. FV, which has earned a reputation as a low-cost airline in Colombia and Peru, operates 22 planes and employs over 1,200 people.
Avianca N793AV Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways