Regulatory requirements: Avianca calls off merger with Viva Colombia

Regulatory requirements: Avianca calls off merger with Viva Colombia

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The planned merger of Viva Colombia and Avianca has been cancelled. The latter airline does not want to take over due to conditions imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Viva Colombia had to file for bankruptcy a few weeks ago and cease flight operations. At that time, it was announced, among other things, that this step had to be taken because the planned merger with Avianca was a long time coming. Now this is there, but there are numerous conditions that mean that Avianca no longer wants to.

Company boss Adrian Neuhauser said: "Unfortunately, the terms of this decision, which is now a firm decision, have made the rescue of Viva impossible, as they would not only make the company unprofitable as an airline, but also jeopardize the stability of Avianca and the connectivity of Colombia , if the integration would take place under the prescribed conditions”.

However, Avianca does not shy away from criticizing the civil aviation authority, because they based their decision on the situation in summer 2022. Meanwhile, Viva Colombia is no longer in the air and is also in bankruptcy proceedings. Among other things, it says: “The conditions require Avianca to assume commitments, routes and service and price levels that do not correspond to the remaining capacity of Viva after two months of suspension of operations”.

The slot requirements would also be so strict that it would be impossible for Viva Colombia to station a single aircraft in Bogota if flight operations were to resume. There would therefore be no synergies with Avianca, making the merger unprofitable. “This long process puts Viva – the airline that brought the low-cost model to the country, enabled millions of Colombians to fly at competitive prices and provided direct and indirect employment to thousands of families – in imminent danger of disappearing. The challenge for the country will now be to move forward with plans to protect the sector and prevent Colombia from further losing competitiveness and diverting passenger flows to countries like Panama, Chile and Peru,” said Neuhauser.

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Editor of this article:

René Steuer is an editor at Aviation.Direct and specializes in tourism and regional aviation. Before that, he worked for AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net), among others.
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René Steuer is an editor at Aviation.Direct and specializes in tourism and regional aviation. Before that, he worked for AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net), among others.
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