Avianca Eyes The Boeing 787 As Its Only Long-Haul Aircraft

Avianca will operate a single widebody type of fleet, using the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the airline’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) confirmed today. This decision will force Avianca to have some changes going forward, and we could see a few lease rejections, retirements, or maybe freighter conversions. Let’s investigate further.

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Avianca will keep on operating its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner fleet. Photo: Avianca

The 787-8 is the aircraft for Avianca’s future

On Thursday, Avianca confirmed that it will only use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft for its long-haul passenger fleets between America and Europe.

The airline believes the 787-8 has the best operational feats and fits perfectly within the capacity and sustainability plans.

Rohit Philip, Avianca’s CFO, stated,

“One of the strategical objectives of Avianca is to simplify its fleet and improve the efficiency. Selecting the 787-8 as the only type of plane for long-haul routes is an important step towards this objective.”

As reported by several media outlets like Aviacionline, Boeing Commercial vice-president in Latin America and the Caribbean, Ricardo Cavero, thanked Avianca for its compromise with the 787 Dreamliner. He stated,

“The aircraft, its economic and sustainable performance, will fit Avianca well during its growth and market recovery going forward.”

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Avianca has 13 Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Photo: Avianca.

Knowing Avianca’s 787 fleet

According to Avianca’s second-quarter results, the airline had 13 Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The carrier owned eight of them and had an operating lease on the remaining five. According to ch-aviation, Avianca has four 787-8 active and nine inactive at the moment.

Avianca can carry 250 passengers in two classes onboard its 787-8 fleet. It has a range of up to 13,621 kilometers, which is a very important aspect when you’re departing from Bogota’s international airport.

The South American carrier received its first 787 Dreamliner in December 2014. The management at the time said that the arrival was a milestone for commercial aviation and Avianca.

In October 2021, Avianca has scheduled 113 flights using the Dreamliner fleet. Its main route connects Bogota and Madrid with one daily flight. Avianca also operates the 787 between Bogota and New York. Compared to a couple of years ago, Avianca’s 787 schedule has decreased by 77.5% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What will happen with Avianca’s Airbus A330 fleet? Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

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What will happen with the remaining widebody fleet of Avianca?

Besides the Boeing 787-8 fleet, Avianca also has eight additional widebodies. The carrier operates seven Airbus A330-200 and one Boeing 787-9 (plus it has an order of two aircraft with Boeing).

The airline didn’t publicly state what will happen with these eight planes plus the two orders. We reached Avianca for comment, but we haven’t received an answer.

The Airbus A330-200 fleet is 10.2 years old, the oldest among all Avianca’s commercial planes. Moreover, the airline already has three Airbus A330F, so we believe some of those planes could be converted into freighters, while Avianca may simply reject the leasing contract of the others.

Regarding the 787-9, that’s a whole different ball game. Rohit Philip expressly referred to the B787-8 as the future of Avianca’s fleet. Nevertheless, Avianca has already committed to receiving the remaining two B787-9 in 2024, according to its Disclosure Statement in its Chapter 11 process. We will have to wait and see what Avianca decides to do with the 787-9.

What do you think about Avianca’s simplifying its fleet process? Let us know in the comments.