Anko van der Werff, Avianca’s CEO, announced yesterday that the carrier will launch a new direct route between Bogota and Toronto. The announcement was made during the 100-year celebration of the carrier. With this, the South American airline strikes back at Air Canada, which is currently expanding its services in Colombia.
What do we know about the new service?
In a nutshell, not much. Currently, the airline’s management is still working on the details for the new route between Bogota and Toronto. But, once it’s opened, this would mark the second direct route to Canada operated by Avianca. The first one connects San Salvador with Toronto using a single-aisle airplane. Which aircraft will Avianca use for this new route? The A330 or the B787?
With this new route, Avianca will compete directly with Air Canada, which currently operates a daily flight between both cities. The Canadian airline also flies four times a week between Toronto and Cartagena and announced a new service between Bogota and Montreal.
While this isn’t yet an equal battle among airlines, it is a fair start for Avianca.
Avianca also announced another new route. This one will connect Bogota with the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. And to top it all, the carrier will also announce, in the near future, a new destination in Europe.
Currently, Avianca flies to Barcelona, London, Madrid, and Munich. Weekly it operates 48 flights to Europe from Bogota, Medellin, and Cali, according to FlightRadar. We can only guess which will be the new European destination for Avianca.
New face, new routes, new start
If we go back to a year ago, Avianca was having a tough time. Things were shaky inside the oldest airline in Latin America so, eventually, the shareholders decided to oust former owner, German Efromovich.
Then came Anko van der Werff with a restructuration plan. This included the sale of 24 airplanes. Avianca also agreed with Airbus to reduce its previous order for A320neo from 108 to 88.
The company is trying to transform under the new banner of “Avianca 2021” which has also included the cancelation of a few routes (like the one between Cartagena and Miami). Avianca also launched Avianca Tours, as a way to incentivize the services to and from Mexico City, among other strategies.
What’s the future for Avianca?
There is no fear of bankruptcy on the horizon, said Avianca’s CFO, Adrian Neuhauser. The carrier has to thank United Airlines and Kingsland Holdings for investing $250 million USD, plus giving another $155 million USD extra, in cash.
“The company’s outlook made a 180 degrees turn in the last six months. We see with certainty and enthusiasm into the future” said van der Werff. Avianca’s plan is to operate for the next one hundred years, he added.
In addition, the company will focus on the growth of its hubs in Bogotá and San Salvador. Although this will leave other hubs like Lima, as secondaries, as reported by América Economía. “Lima is the exception. It is a shame but we have to make tough choices and we don’t have good numbers in the domestic market of Peru” said van der Werff.
What do you think? Is the future for Avianca bright enough for a new century? Let us know in the comments.