Today, Avianca announced the launch of seven new routes and the resumption of operations on two international routes, starting on March 2nd. The airline will have three new routes from Medellin, two from Cartagena, one from Bogota, and one from San José (Costa Rica).
Where will Avianca fly?
Avianca is quickly resuming its pre-pandemic route map. As of January, the South American carrier is offering 14,681 flights, with 2.3 million seats available on 118 routes, according to Cirium.
These numbers are 29.8% and 25% below January 2020 levels (in terms of flights and seats available). Additionally, the airline is not operating 36 routes that it had two years ago. Nonetheless, it has opened 23 routes that were not available in January 2020.
In 2021, Avianca launched 17 new routes with excellent results, and the airline is looking to keep adding to that success this year. By 2023, Avianca aims to have up to 200 routes while cutting fares by 30%.
On March 27, Avianca will launch three new routes and resume one on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemics. The new routes are Medellin-San José, Cartagena-San José, and Cartagena-New York. Meanwhile, the airline is also continuing the flight between Cartagena and Miami.
One day later, Avianca will launch one new route and resume another. These are San José-Quito, and Bogota-London, respectively. On March 29, the airline will launch Medellin-Orlando and Medellin-Riohacha. Finally, on May 16, Avianca will start flying between Bogota and Ipiales.
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How disputed are these routes?
Ana María Copete, Sales director at Avianca, said,
“In 2021, we set the goal to inaugurate 50 new routes in the next three years, and we are getting closer and closer to achieving it. We continue to provide more and better opportunities for point-to-point and nonstop connectivity to our clients to travel to their preferred destinations in America and Europe, at more competitive fares and with a tailored product that allows them to personalize their trip. Thus, we combine the best of our 100 years with the practicality of the modern low-cost world.”
Moreover, Avianca is looking at uncontested but promising routes. Five out of the nine recently announced routes are uncontested as of January 2022, per Cirium. These are Medellin-San José, Cartagena-San José, San José-Quito, Bogotá-London, and Medellin-Riohacha.
Of the remaining four routes, three have only one competitor, and one has two. Cartagena-New York is also operated by JetBlue, which has 27 flights this month; Colombia’s state carrier, SATENA, serves Bogotá-Ipiales; American Airlines flies between Cartagena-Miami, twice per day; and finally, Medellín-Orlando is served by Spirit and Viva.
In the last few days, Avianca has had to cancel several flights due to an increase in the number of COVID cases among its crew.
During the weekend, there were up to 138 flight cancellations across Colombia. Avianca had the most extensive number, leading to an impact on 3,421 passengers. All through Latin America, Omicron has started to lead to flight cancellations, with Aeromexico, LATAM, and Avianca having the biggest issues. Worldwide, omicron is creating chaos. For instance, today, there are 674 cancellations in the US, according to FlightAware.
What do you think about Avianca’s new routes? Let’s investigate further.