Viva Air Outlines Network Expansion With 4 North American Routes

The Colombian carrier Viva Air will launch four new routes from Medellín and Bogotá to three cities in North America: Mexico City and Cancun in Mexico and Orlando in the US. These flights will start in June, according to the airline.

Viva Air Colombia
Viva Air Colombia is launching four new routes to Mexico and the US. Photo: Getty Images.

Decentralizing from Bogota

Viva Air is the third most important carrier by market share in Colombia. The low-cost company is behind Avianca and LATAM, the two legacy airlines it came to disrupt nine years ago.

In 2020, Colombia received 13.10 million passengers, of which nearly 1.9 million were from Viva Air. In comparison, Avianca transported 4.6 million.

Now, Viva Air is using the COVID-19 pandemic to increase its market share in Colombia and abroad. But instead of using Bogota’s International Airport as its main hub, Viva Air is looking at the city of Medellín, the second-largest city in Colombia.

Felix Antelo, CEO of Viva Air Group, said in a press release seen by Simple Flying,

“Nine years ago, our story began among the mountains of the capital of Antioquia. Medellín is our home; here we were born, and here we operate. As an airline, we understand that aviation in Colombia cannot depend solely on a single airport, Bogotá. Therefore, we seek to make air connections from Medellín just as important as those from El Dorado.”

He added that Medellín’s strategic location provides an advantage for the carrier. Medellín is an intermediate point of the two main connection hubs in Latin America in Bogota and Panama.

Viva Air Colombia Getty
Viva Air is a low-cost carrier, the third most important airline in Colombia. Photo: Getty Images.

What do we know about the routes?

Viva Air is now resuming its international expansion plans that were put on pause in 2020. The low-cost carrier announced four new international routes that will connect Medellin and Bogota to Mexico City, Cancun, and Orlando.

These new international routes are in addition to the three new domestic routes it launched to Bucaramanga and Cúcuta. Thus, Viva Air will have 26 domestic routes to 12 national destinations and seven international routes to five destinations in Peru, Mexico, and the US.

Viva Air will launch both Bogota-Mexico City and Medellín-Cancun flights on June 2. The first will have four flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Meanwhile, the latter will have three weekly frequencies on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

The route Medellín-Mexico City will start on June 8, with four flights per week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Finally, Medellín-Orlando, with three flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, will start on June 10.

The price range of these routes will be between US$189.90 and US$249.90, according to the airline. Viva Air expects to transport up to 183,000 passengers on these routes during the first year of operations.

Avianca Getty
Avianca is the largest operator in Colombia and has its hub in Bogota; Viva Air is looking to increase its presence out of Medellín. Photo: Getty Images

A brief history of Viva Air

Viva Air is one of the low-cost carriers that started operations in the last decade in Latin America. It has followed the model set up by other low-costs like Volaris and Viva Aerobus in Mexico.

The airline classifies itself as a “pioneer group of low-cost carriers in the region, created by Irelandia Aviation, a leading developer of low-cost airlines.”

In 2019, the company added 14 out of 50 new Airbus A320 aircraft. It transported more than 6.3 million passengers.

As a group, Viva Air has a presence in Colombia and Peru, with a fleet of 20 aircraft. In the last eight years, it has transported more than 23 million passengers.

Have you ever traveled with Viva Air? How was it? Let us know in the comments.

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