Two weeks after its Brazilian sister company, Avianca Argentina announced the suspension of all its commercial activities. The airline is entering a restructuring phase of its network and business model.
The suspension is effective from June 9, 2019, and should last 90 days, according to Argentina’s civil aviation authority (ANAC). “With the current aircraft and the competition that exists, it is not viable to continue with the operations,” said the CEO of the company, Carlos Colunga to Argentinian news agency Telam. This state-approved suspension should protect Avianca Argentina from sanctions linked to flight suspensions. Operations were halted two days before the official date, on June 7, 2019.
Avianca Argentina was operating a fleet of two ATR 72-600 on two domestic routes: Buenos Aires-Mar Del Plata and Buenos Aires-Santa Fe. The airline also shrunk from 500 employees last year to just 142 today.
The decision comes two weeks after the operations of Avianca Brasil were also put to a halt. On May 24, 2019, based on information on the company’s operations provided by the flight safety department of the Brazilian authority for civil aviation. About 30 flights per day were being operated at the time of the suspension.
Brazil‘s fourth-largest airline had been under bankruptcy protection since December 2018, after three leasing companies have demanded the carrier for the return of a third of its fleet.
In May 2019, entrepreneur Germán Efromovich, who controls Synergy Group, the majority shareholder in Avianca Holdings, was expelled from his position as Avianca’s (AVHOQ) chairman by United Airlines for breaching the terms of a loan agreement. Control was handed to another minority shareholder of Avianca Holdings: Texas-based Kingsland Holding.