Avianca, one of the Abra Group’s constituent airlines, is preparing to resume growth after a prolonged period of financial turbulence.
On September 7, 2023, Avianca’s CEO, Adrian Neuhauser, confirmed that the Colombian airline is looking to invest $473 million to add up to 16 Airbus A320 aircraft to its fleet, 14 of which will be the newer A320neo version, while the remaining two will be legacy A320ceos.
According to the airline executive, this will allow Avianca to increase the number of flights it offers daily by 25% and the number of weekly seats on offer by around a million.
Avianca has been one of the beneficiaries of the demise of two competing low-cost carriers in Colombia, Viva Colombia and Ultra Air, which ceased operations earlier in 2023 leaving thousands of passengers stranded throughout the region.
At the time of the crisis and days before Viva’s bankruptcy, Avianca emerged as a potential savior, but the airline backed down at the last moment. Avianca plans to take on some of Viva’s staff as part of an expansion plan that will see its employee numbers increase by 1,200.
Avianca is also reinforcing its management team by creating the position of Deputy CEO, which will be occupied by the airline’s current COO, Frederico Pedreira.
Other airlines in the region, such as JetSmart and Copa’s low-cost subsidiary Wingo have also stepped up to cover the gap left in the Colombian market.
Avianca lived through its own financial troubles, even filing for Chapter 11 creditor protection in the United States in 2020, although it has since managed to overcome its financial woes. In April 2023 it was reported that the parent company of Avianca, Abra Group (which also controls Brazilian low-cost airline GOL), was preparing for a stock market flotation.