As Of March 23 Avianca Will Suspend Its International Operation

posted on 20th March 2020 by Eddie Saunders
As Of March 23 Avianca Will Suspend Its International Operation

As is public knowledge, most countries around the world have closed their borders, limiting mobility for domestic and foreign passengers in the region. This situation directly affects Avianca’s capacity to maintain its operation.

Therefore, starting at 00:00 hours on March 23, all international operations will be suspended and domestic operations in Colombia will be reduced by 84%. These decisions are complicated and painful for Avianca and its employees whose main purpose is to connect passengers to and from Latin America. Below are details of the actions that will be implemented:

1.     Complete suspension of the international operation and reduction of domestic operation in Colombia by 84%:
As of March 23 at 00:00 hours and until April 30, Avianca will fully suspend its international operation.  The domestic operation will include service from Bogota to capital cities and some regions. The above will be subject to the evolution of the situation, availability and willingness of clients to travel and additional measures that may be taken by local and national governments that affect the operation.

Therefore, flight scheduling may change on a daily basis and passengers will be informed when this happens. Avianca will inform changes through the Covid-19 website and other channels: Avianca Escucha @AviancaEscucha, email, Whatsapp for clients of the Diamond and Gold loyalty program and Avianca News Center.

The company will also be forced to ground 132 aircraft: 22 wide-body, 100 narrow-body and 10 ATRs. Avianca will use 5 Airbus A320s and 5 ATRs for its domestic operation.

2.     Labor Measures

This unprecedented global situation for the airline industry requires difficult and immediate decisions as a result of the reduction of its operation. The following measures will be implemented starting today:

  • Hiring freeze.
  • Implementation of voluntary unpaid leave.
  • Negotiation of payment conditions with suppliers and partners.
  • Extension of non-essential costs and capital expenses.

3.     Financial measures: cost control, savings and suspension of investments

All investments, expenses or projects not tightly linked with maintenance and the domestic operation, as well as travel and events, will be suspended. Additionally, Avianca is negotiating with various partners to decide upon next steps.

“This is, without a doubt, the greatest crisis for the airline industry in history. The decisions we are taking not only hurt us, they are extremely difficult, but we must be flexible and face the situation. The full suspension of our international operation and the strong contraction of domestic demand, forces us to send most of our employees home. It is time for regional governments to take exceptional measures that mitigate the social and economic impact affecting hundreds of industries. If we want to reconnect Latin America and preserve the more than 20.000 jobs we create, we will need joint cooperation and collaboration of industry stakeholders and above all, the support and cooperation of governments”, said Anko van der Werff, President and CEO of Avianca Holdings.

During this situation, Avianca has cooperated with governments and embassies for foreign nationals in Colombia and other countries to return to leave the country and return home.