Avianca To Restart International Flights From Colombia On Monday

After six months, Avianca will resume its international connectivity from Colombia next Monday, the airline said. It will start with flights to the US and will add new destinations over the next few days. Let’s investigate further. 

Avianca will resume international flights next Monday. Photo: Getty Images.

A restart with 34 planes

Avianca restarted its domestic operations in Colombia on 1 September. It launched its flights with a fleet of 20 Airbus A320 and ATR airplanes at a 12% capacity of what it had before the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the airline will start flying internationally with a fleet of 34 planes. According to Avianca, it will use Airbus A319, A320 aircraft as well as Boeing 787 planes. However, since most of those planes were parked for almost half a year, the airline reassured its passengers that it had done the correct maintenance to make them fly again. 

Regarding the restart of operations, Avianca’s CEO, Anko van der Werff said, 

“We are delighted with the resumption of international travel from Colombia. Above all, the start of operations implies to maintain our eyes wide open. Rest assured, our biosafety protocols are the most strict, and the priority is to keep our clients and crews safe.”  

Avianca Getty
Avianca plans to fly to 16 cities in nine countries between 28 September and 15 October. Photo: Getty Images.

So, where is Avianca flying?

On 28 September, Avianca will resume two international routes from Medellín. It will fly to Miami and New York. 

Then, between October 1 and 15, the airline will add flights to 16 cities in nine countries. This is interesting, as it shows how liquid international connectivity is at the moment. The Colombian government planned to allow transborder flights to five countries: the US, Panama, Ecuador, Chile, and Peru. However, things have changed. 

On  October 1, Avianca will resume flights from Bogota to:

  1. Ecuador: Guayaquil and Quito
  2. Mexico: Mexico City
  3. Brazil: Sao Paulo
  4. The US: Miami and New York.

Fifteen days later, Avianca will start flying to: 

  1. Mexico: Cancún
  2. Guatemala: Guatemala City
  3. Bolivia: La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  4. Dominican Republic: Punta Cana and Santo Domingo
  5. Brazil: Rio de Janeiro
  6. Chile: Santiago
  7. El Salvador: San Salvador
  8. The US: Washington, DC. 

A quick update on Avianca’s Chapter 11

Meanwhile, Avianca is still moving forward in its Chapter 11 reorganization, although not without controversy. Recently, some Colombian newspapers published that Avianca gave US$7 million in bonuses to members of its management. The airline claimed that it owed this money as “labor obligations” due to the debt reorganization process of 2019. 

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This week, Avianca also filed a motion to the US Bankruptcy Court for its DIP Financing. The Colombian carrier is looking for over US$2 billion in financing. Meanwhile, it is still looking for Colombian state aid of over US$300 million, which was denied by a Colombian court. 

As we’ve published before, Avianca argues that, if it doesn’t receive this loan, the whole DIP Financing would be in jeopardy. Subsequently, that would mean “Avianca would not receive new resources, and its liquidity would suffer a bigger reduction, which would deem (Avianca’s) operation unviable,” as the airline said in a statement. 

Colombia is open up for business

Avianca is not the only airline that will restart flying internationally out of Colombia. Recently, Viva Air was the first carrier in the country to fly abroad since March. On 19 September, the low-cost carrier flew the route Medellin-Cartagena-Miami.

Likewise, the US carrier Spirit Airlines relaunched its flights to four cities in Colombia: Cartagena, Río Negro, Cali, and Bogotá. For Colombia, this is top news as the country is the third most important aviation market in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. In conclusion, the connectivity of the whole region increases with Colombia going back into the skies.

Are you eager to travel again with Avianca? Let us know in the comments.