Avianca Could Launch Flights To Venezuela

The South American giant Avianca has requested authorization to operate a new route between Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport (BOG) and Caracas’ Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS). Let’s investigate further.

Avianca’s international reach

Avianca is looking to increase its international connectivity across South America. Last year, the airline said one of its plans was to increase the number of routes after exiting its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process in the United States.

Earlier this week, Avianca sought authorization from the Colombian civil aviation authorities to launch two new international routes from Bogotá.

One of these routes, if approved, would see Avianca return to Caracas after five years. The Colombian airline suspended its flights to and from Venezuela on July 27, 2017, following the increasing challenges of operating commercially in this country. Prior to that, Avianca had served Venezuela continuously for 60 years.

As reported by local media outlet Portafolio, Avianca is now ready to land in Caracas again. The airline is looking to fly daily from Bogotá to Caracas, employing its narrowbody fleet of Airbus A320 and A320neo aircraft.

Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority has not yet authorized the route but most likely will. Aerocivil has been supporting the growth of the Colombian airline industry during the last two years, allowing for one of the quickest recoveries worldwide. Colombia is already growing above its pre-pandemic traffic and connectivity levels, despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis worldwide.

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Avianca is currently operating 438 weekly international flights from Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín, the four most important Colombian cities. Its main route is Bogotá-Miami, offering 26 weekly flights.

Avianca is looking to launch new international routes to Caracas and Cusco. Photo: Getty Images.

Caracas’ international connectivity

In 2017, Venezuela lost most of its connectivity. Avianca was one of the many carriers to suspend their direct flights to Caracas; other airlines were Air Canada, Alitalia, Lufthansa, LATAM, Aeroméxico, GOL, and United Airlines.

Using data from Cirium, Venezuela currently has around 53 international flights per week, operated mainly by the country’s state carrier, Conviasa, and Panama’s Copa Airlines.

The airlines that currently fly internationally to and from Venezuela are Avior Airlines, Copa Airlines, Estelar, Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas, Turkish Airlines, Air Europa, and Conviasa. TAP Air Portugal will soon resume its flights to Caracas.

These are the routes currently operated to Caracas:

  1. Santo Domingo-Caracas, operated by Avior Airlines
  2. Panama City-Caracas, operated by Copa Airlines and Estelar
  3. Madrid-Caracas, operated by Plus Ultra and Air Europa
  4. Istanbul-Caracas, by Turkish Airlines
  5. Cancun, Guayaquil, Havana, Lima, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Quito, Moscow, and Santa Cruz Viru Viru to Caracas, all by Conviasa.

The most important route is Panama-Caracas, with 24 weekly services (21 by Copa and three by Estelar).

Copa Airlines operates the most important international route to Venezuela, from Panama City. Photo: Getty Images.

Avianca’s route to Cusco, Perú

Avianca also sought permission to operate another international route from Bogotá. The airline is looking to serve the Peruvian city of Cusco.

Like the route to Caracas, Avianca is looking to fly daily to Cusco employing its narrowbody Airbus fleet.

If approved, it would be Cusco’s first international route. It is currently only served domestically by Sky Airline, LATAM, and Viva Airlines Perú. These three carriers operate around 161 flights per week to Cusco from Lima, Arequipa, and Pisco.

Are you excited about Avianca’s new intended routes across South America? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Portafolio, Cirium.

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