Avianca to take over Viva Air

An Airbus A320neo of Viva Air Colombia. Photo: © Clément Alloing

Colombia’s largest airline Avianca and its low-cost competitor Viva Air have announced plans to integrate Viva Air into the Avianca Group. After regulatory approval, both Viva Air Colombia and Viva Air Peru will become part of Avianca Group but retain their individual brands.

Roberto Kriete, largest shareholder of the Avianca Group said “This new and robust group of airlines will benefit customers by using a more efficient cost structure to offer lower fares, a route network that delivers direct connections between destinations, a strong loyalty program, and friendly and efficient service.” Avianca itself also cites the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as a factor in this agreement.

Founder of Viva Air, Declan Ryan commented “This is an important day for Viva as it is the perfect scenario to continue with our growth and expansion strategy and staying true to our goal of inclusiveness in air travel. If [approved], it will encourage the growth of the air transport market […]”

Founded in 1919, Avianca is one of the oldest airlines still flying and is one of the two major multinational airline groups in Latin America, with its main focus being in its home country Colombia, as well as Ecuador and El Salvador. Viva Air Colombia was founded in 2008 by several entities (including Mexican low-cost airline Viva Aerobus) and started operating in 2012. In 2016, Viva Air Peru was founded. Together, both airlines operate a fleet of 25 Airbus A320 and A320neo family aircraft, with at least 24 more on order.