Almost 150 Aircraft: What Planes Does Avianca Actually Operate?

The South American carrier Avianca has the third-largest fleet in Latin America, after LATAM Airlines Group and Azul Linhas Aereas. As of September 30, 2021, Avianca had 142 planes. Avianca’s fleet has changed quite dramatically in the last three years, following the back-to-back financial restructurings the airline has executed.

Avianca currently has 142 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Avianca in 2018

On December 31, 2018, Avianca was very different. The carrier was under different management and facing financial pressure. The airline’s fleet was composed of 196 aircraft, according to its financial results.

Avianca had Airbus, Boeing, ATR, Cessna, and Embraer airplanes at the time. Nowadays, the carrier has reduced its fleet complexity and only operates with Airbus, Boeing, and ATR.

Back in 2018, Avianca had ten Airbus A318, 27 A319, 61 A320, seven A320neo, 13 A321, two A321neo, ten A330, and six A330F.

With Boeing, the airline only had 13 B787-8 Dreamliners used for its long-haul routes and two B767F for freighter operations. Additionally, Avianca had two ATR-42 and 15 ATR-72, 13 Cessna Grand Caravan, and ten Embraer E190.

One year later, and following a private out-of-court financial restructuring, Avianca had reduced its fleet to 171 planes. The A318s, ATR-42s, and Cessna Grand Caravan had exited the company.

Avianca has reduced its fleet in the last few years, including the exit of several ATR aircraft. Photo: Getty Images.

Avianca in 2021

Currently, Avianca has a fleet of 142 aircraft distributed between its branches in Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. The carrier has reduced the number of planes on its fleet to better cope with the new reality following the COVID-19 crisis.

Avianca has reduced its Airbus A319, A320, A321neo, A330, and ATR-72 subfleets. It also released 100% of its Embraer fleet between 2019 and now.

On the other hand, the South American carrier has increased its A320neo from seven to 12, as well as its Dreamliner fleet adding one B787-9.

Despite reducing its narrowbody fleet, Avianca is also in the midst of a densification process. The objective is to increase by 20% the number of seats in its A320 fleet.

Avianca also introduced new economy, plus and premium seats, designed by Recaro Aircraft Seating.

The new seating strategy will allow a drop in Avianca’s fares and reduce by 13% the CO2 emissions per passenger. Avianca selected Airbus Services for a complete cabin reconfiguration for their existing A320 family fleet.

SpaceFlex next generation is a mature lavatory and galley AFT complex that enables airlines to optimize the available space in the rear of the cabin to increase seat capacity and/or improve seat pitch throughout the cabin, said Airbus in a statement.

Avianca 787
Avianca is set to receive 90 aircraft between 2024 and 2029, including two new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno | Simple Flying.

Avianca’s orders

In the future, Avianca is also planning to receive new aircraft. Despite having lost over US$1 billion since the start of 2021, Avianca is close to exiting its Chapter 11 process in the US. The carrier has already received approval of its Reorganization Plan, a milestone in the bankruptcy filing.

Avianca is currently undertaking negotiations with Airbus and Boeing to assume, amend or reject the purchase agreements of future deliveries. Additionally, the airline may also reject aircraft leases of all new ten A320neo aircraft that would have been leased from BOC Aviation starting in 2023.

Currently, Avianca expects to receive 90 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing between 2024 and 2029.

Boeing will deliver two B787-9 in 2024. Airbus will deliver 88 A320neo starting in 2025. Between 2025 and 2028, Avianca will receive 20 planes per year, and an additional eight units in 2029.

Have you traveled with Avianca? Onboard what aircraft? Let us know in the comments below.