The Colombian carrier Viva is interested in launching flights to Argentina. During a tourism event held in Colombia, the airline’s CEO, Felix Antelo, said that the company is working towards establishing two direct routes to Buenos Aires in 2022. Let’s investigate further.
Viva is one of the most exciting stories of the pandemic. The airline (no longer Viva Air, it has rebranded) has launched several new international routes and is increasing its market share within Colombia.
Viva plans to create a Latin American low-cost hub in Medellín, Colombia, as Felix Antelo told Simple Flying. With that in mind, Viva has launched/announced these four international routes in 2021:
- Bogota-Mexico City
- Medellin-Mexico City
These four routes doubled the international reach of Viva. Previously, the airline had Bogota-Lima, Medellin-Lima, and Medellin-Miami routes.
Now, the company is working towards launching two new routes to Buenos Aires in 2022. These flights would be:
- Bogota-Buenos Aires
- Medellin-Buenos Aires.
When talking to Simple Flying, Felix Antelo spoke about how he would like the Latin American flying public to be able to travel across the subcontinent at a low-cost price. The travelers could start their journey in Mexico City and end it in Buenos Aires, with a convenient layover in Medellin, he said.
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How advanced are Viva’s plans?
In early May, Viva filed for permission with the Civil Aviation National Authority in Colombia (Aerocivil). There’s still no information regarding if these routes have been approved. Nevertheless, the airline did say that,
The routes from Medellin to Argentina are part of a route pool that we’ve evaluated under the scope of our great project ‘Hub Medellín.’ This project puts Medellin as a privileged city to reach the whole American continent as the main connection hub. Additionally, these are just two of the nearly 15 routes we’re planning for the next three years.”
Additionally, during Viva’s participation at the Colombian tourism event, Felix Antelo said they want to show Argentinians what low-cost really is. As we know, Argentina has often struggled to have true low-cost airlines. Aerolíneas Argentinas, the State carrier, dominate the country.
An underserved market?
In 2019, only two carriers flew between Argentina and Colombia. According to data provided by Cirium, Avianca and Aerolíneas Argentinas operated direct routes between both countries.
Both airlines flew the Bogota-Buenos Aires route. In June 2019, Aerolíneas offered 30 flights per month, and Avianca 60. They offered 30,108 seats.
2° día de #VitrinaAnato2021 con más resultados positivos para Argentina. Felix Antelo, CEO de @VivaAirCol anuncia la intención de generar vuelos Medellín-Buenos Aires desde 2022 tras la reunión con @InproturArg.
Junto a @AnatoNacional trabajamos por la reactivación. @PaulaCortesC pic.twitter.com/2FSo22R6nf
— Ricardo Sosa (@RikySosa) June 18, 2021
Currently, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market between both countries is severely depressed. Avianca has scheduled 17 flights between Bogota and Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, Aerolíneas Argentinas has four operations on this route and one between Barranquilla and Buenos Aires.
Argentina still has harsh travel restrictions. The country doesn’t allow entrance to foreigners. We only hope that once the pandemic is under control, travel demand to the country will increase.
Finally, Viva is also analyzing more South American destinations to connect with in the future. Felix Antelo has pointed out Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, La Paz, Asuncion, Quito, and Guayaquil.
Would you like to see a low-cost hub in South America? Let us know in the comments.