Two major Columbian airlines today announced that they have reached an agreement to merge economically under one holding group.
Avianca S.A. that has been the flag carrier of Colombia since December 5, 1919, when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA, and Viva Air Colombia – a Colombian low-cost airline based in Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia, said that they have agreed to merge, while keeping separate branding and strategies.
Avianca Group’s control of Viva’s operations in Colombia and Peru will be subject to approvals from Colombian and Peruvian regulators.
According to the carriers, the move is aimed at providing the airlines with additional support and assistance amid a global industry crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Majority shareholders from both airlines together announce that Viva will form part of Avianca Group International Limited (Avianca Group), while Viva founding member Declan Ryan will join the board of the new group, bringing all his expertise in aviation,” Avianca and Viva said in a joint statement, issued today.
Avianca completed a restructuring at the end of 2021 which allowed it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The airline has more than 110 aircraft, with some 12,000 employees.
Viva, which built a reputation as a major low-cost airline in Colombia and Peru, has 22 planes and some 1,200 employees.
Once joined, both carriers will be under the umbrella of the same airline group but will keep their own branding and individual business strategies.