Viva Air Suspends Operations
Airlines Industry

Viva Air Suspends Operations

DALLAS – Colombian ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) Viva Air (VH) has been forced to suspend operations after continuing regulatory delays hampered the airline’s takeover by Avianca Group. Its Peruvian subsidiary Viva Air Perú (VV), is also affected.

An official statement on the carrier’s website said, “Today, Civil Aeronautics issued a Communication acknowledging the interests of various third parties regarding Viva’s urgent request to allow its integration with a stronger and larger group of airlines.

“This unprecedented decision by the entity will result in further delays in making a decision, for which Viva is forced to announce, unfortunately, the suspension of its operations with immediate effect.”

Photo: Viva Air Colombia.


Avianca announced its plans to acquire VH in April last year but has been met with numerous delays by the Colombian civil aviation authority Aerocivil.

In November, the regulator announced that it had blocked the tie-up stating that it would harm competition and create a monopoly in the country.

Since then, management of the troubled airline have met with Aerocivil and highlighted the precarious financial situation of the carrier and that the takeover would be the only way it could continue operations.

“Today’s decision calls into question the future of the Low-Cost air service in Colombia and jeopardizes the jobs of more than 5,000 Colombians, who directly and indirectly depend on Viva,” the statement added.

“The Government has been informed, on several occasions, that allowing Viva to become the low-cost subsidiary of a larger and stronger airline group will allow the airline to continue to offer Colombian travelers access to low prices, efficient service and of course, continue with its promise to connect the most remote cities with any part of the world.”

Sporting the carrier’s former livery Airbus A320-214 (HK-5275). Photo: Luca Flores/Airways.

Painting the Skies Yellow

VH was developed by one of Ryanair’s (FR) founders, Declan Ryan and launched operations in May 2012. VV took to the skies in May 2017. The airlines operated a fleet of Airbus A320 family airliners, both ceo and neo variants. At its peak, it operated 24 airframes.

JetSmart (JA) and LATAM Colombia (4C) have recently expressed their interest in purchasing the airline. Viva added that Aerocivil’s decision to allow these “interested parties” into the review process had delayed the decision.

The airline has said that the grounding is “temporary” and remains “hopeful that Civil Aeronautics will take immediate action to ensure that Viva continues to paint the skies yellow.”

Featured Image: Viva Air Colombia (HK-5352) Airbus A320Neo. Photo: Arturo La Roche/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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