Transportation Updates

Avianca Expects To Reach Pre-Pandemic Capacity By April

The South American carrier Avianca expects to achieve a total capacity recovery during 2022’s second quarter. Slowly but surely, Avianca is recovering its pre-pandemic numbers in terms of routes, frequencies, and seats. Nevertheless, the airline is still lagging in terms of passengers and revenue. Let’s investigate further.

Avianca expects to recover its pre-pandemic capacity by 2022. Photo: Avianca

How will Avianca end the year?

On September 20, 2021, Avianca stated that it is currently offering 99 routes across South America, North America, and Europe. It is scheduling more than 2,680 flights per week, with a capacity of more than 400,000 seats, having one of the “most robust map routes in the region.” 

According to the airline, it has a load factor of over 80% in most of its routes. Moreover, the small amount of routes that it hasn’t reactivated are due to the travel restrictions. For instance, Avianca is not flying to the UK because the British government is not allowing the entrance of people coming from Colombia.

By the end of 2021, Avianca expects to have recovered between 70 and 80% of its pre-pandemic operations. Additionally, it hopes to regain 100% of the capacity between April and June 2022. Nevertheless, any change, like new travel restrictions or new waves of COVID-19 infections in the region, could impact Avianca’s recovery.

Avianca A319
Currently, Avianca has carried 6.19 million passengers. Photo: AviancaStay informed:Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

How many passengers has Avianca carried?

Unlike many countries worldwide, Colombia doesn’t have travel restrictions. Anyone can enter the country, regardless of their vaccination status or where they are coming from. This openness has helped Avianca (and other Colombian carriers like Viva) to recover faster, at least in terms of capacity and frequencies.

Up to July 2021, Avianca had carried 6.19 million passengers across its routes, according to the airline stats. Compared to its pre-pandemic numbers, Avianca has only recovered 34.4% of its traffic figures.

Avianca’s domestic market has recovered 46.5% of its passengers, while the international is lagging with only an 18.8% recovery so far.

Despite those numbers, Avianca has been launching new routes during the year. In 2021, the South American carrier has announced 28 new international routes, many of them departing from Colombia. Some have already started, and others will, soon enough, like the Bogota-Toronto flight scheduled for December 3.

Avianca B787
Avianca is expecting to exit its Chapter 11 procedures in the near term. Photo: Avianca

What about Avianca’s finances?

Avianca is currently under Chapter 11. The airline is expecting the approval of its Reorganization Plan in the following weeks and could exit the bankruptcy procedures within this year.

Nevertheless, there’s still a long way to go before Avianca regains its profitability. During 2021’s first half, Avianca filed a loss of US$653 million due to the heavy impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avianca’s operating revenue in the first half was US$808 million. That number was a 64% decrease compared to 2019’s first six months when the airline achieved over US$2.2 billion in revenue.

Meanwhile, total operating expenses continue to be more than the revenues. Avianca spent US$1.1 billion during the quarter.

Are you planning to fly with Avianca in the following months? Or, have you been onboard with them before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments.

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