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Avianca

Avianca
Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A.
IATA ICAO Callsign
AV AVA AVIANCA
Founded 5 December 1919 as SCADTA
Hubs El Dorado International Airport
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program LifeMiles
Airport lounge Avianca VIP Lounges
Alliance Star Alliance
Subsidiaries
Fleet size 163
Destinations 122
Company slogan
  • "It's For You"
  • "With Pleasure"
  • "The First Airline of the Americas"
Parent company Avianca Holdings S.A.
Headquarters Bogotá, Colombia
Key people
Operating income Increase COP 2.8 B[2] (FY 2009)
Total assets Increase COP 2.403.632 M (FY 2008)
Website .com.aviancawww

Avianca S.A. (acronym in Spanish for "Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A.", Airways of the American Continent) is the national airline and flag carrier of Colombia,[3][4] since 5 December 1919, when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA.[5][6] It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its main hub at El Dorado International Airport. Avianca is also a trademark comprising a group of seven Latin American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one airline using a code sharing system. Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia and second largest in Latin America. Avianca together with its subsidiaries has the most extensive network of destinations in Latin America.[7] It is wholly owned by Synergy Group S.A., a South American holding company established by Germán Efromovich and specializing in air transport. It is listed on the Colombia Stock Exchange.[8]

Avianca is the world's second oldest airline after KLM, and reached its 90th anniversary in 2009, when it was announced that it would merge with TACA. It is the oldest airline in the Western Hemisphere.[9] It became an official member of Star Alliance on 21 June 2012, after a process that lasted for around 18 months since their initial announcement[10] of being invited to join the Alliance.[11]

Contents

  • History 1
    • SCADTA (1919–1940) 1.1
    • National Airways of Colombia (1940–1994) 1.2
    • Merger and alliance (1994–2002) 1.3
    • Summa Alliance (2002–2004) 1.4
    • American Continent Airways (2004–2009) 1.5
      • Avianca-TACA merger (2009-2013) 1.5.1
      • Star Alliance (since 2012) 1.5.2
      • Avianca Holdings S.A. (2013-Present) 1.5.3
  • Headquarters 2
  • Destinations 3
    • Subsidiaries 3.1
    • Frequent Flyer Program 3.2
    • Codeshare agreements 3.3
  • Services 4
  • Fleet 5
    • Retired 5.1
  • Incidents and accidents 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

History

SCADTA (1919–1940)

Avianca Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation at Miami International Airport (1965).
Avianca Douglas DC-4 (1972).
Avianca Boeing 727 (1975).

The airline traces its history back to 5 December 1919, in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. Colombians Ernesto Cortissoz (the first President of the Airline), Rafael Palacio, Cristóbal Restrepo, Jacobo Correa and Aristides Noguera and Germans Wilhem Schnurbusch, Werner Kämerer, Stuart Hosie and Albert Tietjen founded the Colombo-German Company, called Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo or SCADTA. The company accomplished their first flight between Barranquilla and the nearby town of Puerto Colombia using a Junkers F.13, transporting 57 pieces of mail. The flight was piloted by German Helmuth von Krohn. This and another aircraft of the same type were completely mechanically constructed monoplanes, the engines of which had to be modified to efficiently operate in the climate of the country. There were nine aircraft in the fleet with a total range of 850 km (528 mi) which could carry up to four passengers and two crewmen. Due to the topographic characteristics of the country and the lack of airports at the time, floats were adapted for two of the Junkers aircraft to make water landings in the rivers near different towns. Using these floats, Helmuth von Krohn was able to perform the first inland flight over Colombia on 20 October 1920, following the course of the Magdalena River; the flight took eight hours and required four emergency landings in the water.

Soon after the airline was founded, German scientist and philanthropist Peter von Bauer became interested in the airline and contributed general knowledge, capital and a tenth aircraft for the company, as well as obtaining concessions from the Colombian government to operate the country's airmail transportation division using the airline, which began in 1922. This new contract allowed SCADTA to thrive in a new frontier of aviation. By the mid-1920s, SCADTA started its first international routes that initially covered destinations in Venezuela and the United States. In 1924, the aircraft that both Ernesto Cortissoz and Helmuth von Krohn were flying crashed into an area currently known as Bocas de Ceniza in Barranquilla, killing them. In the early 1940s, Peter von Bauer sold his shares in the airline to the US-owned Pan American World Airways.

National Airways of Colombia (1940–1994)

On 14 June 1940, in the city of Barranquilla, SCADTA, under ownership by United States businessmen, merged with Colombian Air Carrier SACO (acronym of Servicio Aéreo Colombiano), forming the new Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia S.A. or Avianca. Five Colombians participated in this: Rafael María Palacio, Jacobo A. Corea, Cristobal Restrepo, and Aristides Noguera, as well as German citizens Albert Teitjen, Werner Kaemerer and Stuart Hosie, while the post of first President of Avianca was filled by Martín del Corral.

In 1946, Avianca began flights to Quito, Lima, Panama City, Miami, New York City and Europe, using Douglas DC-4s and C-54 Skymasters. In 1951, Avianca acquired Lockheed 749 Constellations and 1049 Super Constellations. In 1961, Avianca leased two Boeing 707 aircraft, to operate its international routes and on 2 November 1961, it acquired its own Boeing 720s. In 1976, Avianca became the first Latin American airline to continuously operate a Boeing 747. Three years later, it started operations with another 747, this time a 747 Combi, mixing cargo and passenger operations.

Merger and alliance (1994–2002)

In 1994, Avianca, the regional carrier SAM and the helicopter operator Helicol, merged, beginning Avianca's new system of operations. This arrangement allowed for specialized services in cargo (Avianca Cargo) and postal services, as well as a more modern fleet, made up of Boeing 767–200s, Boeing 767–300s, Boeing 757–200s, McDonnell Douglas MD-83s, Fokker 50s, and Bell helicopters.

By 1996, Avianca Postal Services became Deprisa, which provided various mail services.

Summa Alliance (2002–2004)

After the September 11 attacks, Avianca, the regional carrier SAM Colombia, and its major rival ACES Colombia joined efforts to create Alianza Summa, which began merged operations on 20 May 2002. In November 2003, Alianza Summa was disbanded and ACES Colombia was liquidated altogether and SAM Colombia was acquired to be a regional carrier under Avianca's brand.

American Continent Airways (2004–2009)

On 10 December 2004, Avianca concluded a major reorganization process, undertaken after filing for Brazilian consortium, OceanAir/Synergy Group and the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, allowing the airline to obtain funds for US$63 million, in the 13 months following withdrawal from bankruptcy.

Avianca Airbus A330 economy class cabin.

Under this plan, Avianca was bought by Synergy Group, and was consolidated with its subsidiaries OceanAir and VIP Ecuador. In 2009, they were re-branded as Avianca Brazil and Avianca Ecuador, respectively.

Avianca-TACA merger (2009-2013)

In 2009, it was announced that Avianca would merge with TACA.[12][13] This created AviancaTaca Holdings, which instantly became one of the region's largest airlines, with 129 aircraft and flights to more than 100 destinations.

In November 2009, the airline's Chief Executive Fabio Villegas announced that the airline was looking to replace its Fokker 50 and Fokker 100 aircraft with newer aircraft of 100 seats or less.[14] On 1 January 2011, the airline decided to retire the Fokker 100 aircraft in 2011 and replace them with 10 Airbus A318 leased from GECAS. The aircraft were delivered from February to April 2011.

Star Alliance (since 2012)

On 10 November 2010, Star Alliance announced that Avianca (and its merger counterpart, TACA) were full members in 2012. Due to Avianca's entry into Star Alliance, it ended its codeshare agreement with Delta Air Lines and began a new codeshare agreement with United Airlines. TACA had been codesharing with United Airlines since 2006.[15] On 21 June 2012, Avianca and TACA were both officially admitted into Star Alliance.

Avianca Holdings S.A. (2013-Present)

TACA and all other AviancaTaca airlines changed their brand to Avianca on 28 May 2013. On 21 March 2013, at the annual general meeting, the shareholders approved the change of corporate name from AviancaTaca Holdings S.A. to Avianca Holdings S.A.[16]

In early 2015 it was announced that the airline had concluded a memorandum of understanding with Sky Airline of Chile, and would acquire a 59% controlling stake in Sky Airline. Until the deal was finalised Sky Airline would continue to operate independently.[17]

Headquarters

Avianca's headquarters is on Avenida El Dorado and between Avenida la Esmeralda and Gobernación de Cundinamarca, located in the Ciudad Salitre area of Bogota. The building is located next to the Gran Estación.[18] Its previous head office was at Avenida El Dorado No. 93-30.[19]

Destinations

Avianca's hubs are in Medellín, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, San José and Quito as well as Miami, where Avianca is the largest foreign carrier by number of passengers. The airline covers 87 destinations in 22 countries.

Subsidiaries

Frequent Flyer Program

Avianca headquarters designed by Esguerra Saenz Urdaneta Samper

Avianca launched their LifeMiles frequent-flyer program in 2011, replacing AviancaPlus. The levels include Silver, Gold and Diamond, replacing the former Basic, Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Executive levels. This program covers all Avianca Holdings airlines.

Codeshare agreements

Avianca maintains codeshare agreements with the following airlines in North America, South America, and Europe, as of October 2014:[20]

Cargo Codeshare Agreements

Since 2012, Avianca has had codeshare agreements with all members of the Star Alliance.[30]

Services

Avianca operates two-class service with business class and economy class on all jet aircraft, and single-class service on non-jet aircraft.[31]

Fleet

As of June 2015, the Avianca Holding S.A. fleet consists of the following aircraft:[32][33]

Avianca, Air France and British Airways are the only three airlines in the world to operate every variant of the Airbus A320 family.

Avianca's first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner was handed over from Boeing on 17 December 2014 and launched its first service on 16 January 2015 between Bogota and New York.[36]

Retired

Incidents and accidents

Avianca Airbus A330-200, in the post-2013 livery, arrives London Heathrow Airport (2015)
An Avianca Boeing 767-200ER taxiing at Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain (2008)

The airline suffered a few incidents during the 1980s and early 1990s. The deadliest of those incidents was Avianca Flight 203, which was bombed in 1989, following orders from Pablo Escobar to kill presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo. In the aftermath, it was found that Gaviria had not boarded the aircraft. Only one successful bombing has occurred in the airline's history, while most other gang related incidents were related to hijackings or shootings on board. In most hijackings, all passengers and crew members, unaffiliated with the hijacker's cause, were immediately released.

References

  1. ^ Avianca compró Aerounión: http://www.dinero.com/empresas/articulo/avianca-compro-aerounion/193184
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  18. ^ Buitrago, Alejandra. "Avianca tendrá nueva sede administrativa a comienzos del 2009 en Eje Empresarial del Salitre." Portafolio. Retrieved on 11 July 2010. "Será un edificio con 13.800 metros cuadrados de vidrio en sus fachadas, con un coeficiente de sombra de solo el 0,71% en diseño bioclimático que permitirá luz y aire naturales incluso en los sótanos." and "Su altura será de 46 metros y tres sótanos, para un área construida de 34.536 metros cuadrados. El primer piso tendrá locales comerciales y una amplia zona de parqueaderos."
  19. ^ Oficinas Colombia." Avianca. 9 March 2000. Retrieved on 30 January 2011.
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  37. ^ a b
  38. ^ a b
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  41. ^ Davies, R.E.G., Airlines of Latin America since 1919, London 1984
  42. ^ Accident description for C-108 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  43. ^ Accident description for HK-163 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 May 2012.
  44. ^ Accident description for HK-328 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  45. ^ Accident description for HK-135 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  46. ^ Jamaica Observer, "From Avianca to CanJet: MoBay Airport at Centre of J'can Aviation History", 22 April 2009 . Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  47. ^ Accident description for HK-109 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  48. ^ Accident description for HK-174 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  49. ^ Accident description for CCCP-M25 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
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External links

  • Official website (Spanish)
  • September 2012 Issue of Explore Taca
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