From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A.
Avianca Logo 2013.png
Founded December 5, 1919 as SCADTA
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program LifeMiles
Airport lounge Avianca VIP Lounges
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 165
Destinations 121
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)

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 independently IATA-coded and -owned 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 Latin American holding company established by Germán Efromovich and specializing in air transport. It is listed on the Colombia Stock Exchange.[8]

On 7 October 2009, it was announced that Avianca would merge with TACA.[9] In 2009 Avianca reached its 90th anniversary. It is the world's second oldest airline still in operation (behind KLM);[10][11] Avianca is the oldest continuously operating airline in the Western Hemisphere.[12]

On 21 June 2012,[13] Avianca became an official member of Star Alliance after a process that lasted for around 18 months since their initial announcement[14] of being invited in joining the Alliance.


SCADTA (1919–1940)[edit]

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 Werner Kämerer, Stuart Hosie and Alberto 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)[edit]

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 Alberto 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 November 2, 1961, it acquired its own Boeing 720s. In 1976, Avianca became the first Latin American airline to continuously operate[clarification needed] 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)[edit]

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)[edit]

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)[edit]

On 10 December 2004, Avianca concluded a major reorganization process, undertaken after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, by obtaining confirmation of its reorganization plan, which was financially backed by the 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)[edit]

In 2009, it was announced that Avianca would merge with TACA.[15] 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.[16] In January 1, 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)[edit]

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.[17] On June 21, 2012, Avianca and TACA were both officially admitted into Star Alliance.

Avianca Holdings S.A. (2013-Present)[edit]

TACA all other AviancaTaca airlines changed their brand to Avianca on May 28, 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.[18]

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.[19]


Avianca's current 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.[20] Its previous head office was at Avenida El Dorado No. 93-30.[21]


Main article: Avianca destinations

Avianca's hubs are in Bogotá at El Dorado International Airport, in San Salvador at Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport and in Lima at Jorge Chávez International Airport . Its focus cities are 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.


Avianca's subsidiaries destinations
Company Number of destinations List
Avianca 54 Avianca destinations
Avianca Brazil 23 Avianca Brazil destinations
Avianca Costa Rica 12 Lacsa destinations
Avianca Ecuador 15 Avianca Ecuador destinations
Avianca El Salvador 27 TACA destinations
Avianca Peru 29 Avianca Perú destinations
Avianca Cargo 20 Avianca Cargo destinations

Frequent Flyer Program[edit]

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[edit]

Avianca currently maintains codeshare agreements with the following airlines in North America, South America, and Europe, as of October 2014:[22]

Cargo Codeshare Agreements

Since 2012, Avianca has had codeshare agreements with all members of the Star Alliance.[32]


Business Class[edit]

Business Class is the differential service and on-board, for people who travel fare Business Class travelers and AviancaPlus highest number of miles accumulated in your account. On land have unique modules checkup and access to the VIP lounges. They also have priority boarding, luggage special badge and priority delivery. Once on board, these travelers have an exclusive cabin with more comfortable seats and more spacious. The menu has more variety of food, spirits and canapés. During the trip have multiple options audiovisual entertainment and reading material. With the Airbus A330, travelers in this class include an entertainment system consisting of a single touch screen in each seat manufacturer Panasonic, as well as different technologies to work as SkyOffice, USB connectors and power outlets among others.

Now, with the entry of Avianca Boeing 787, this class travelers have a revolutionary entertainment on board these aircraft, which is a 16-inch thinner and tactile screen that have a touch control that you can see the rest on board content without pause what you're seeing.[33]


As of February 2015, the Avianca fleet consists of the following aircraft:[34][35]

Avianca Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Options Passengers Notes
J Y Total
ATR 42-500 2 50 50 4 aircraft are to be sold
ATR 72-600 14 3 68 68
Airbus A318-100 10 12 88 100
Airbus A319-100 34 8 12 108 120 6 fitted with Sharklets
Airbus A320-200 59 3 12 138 150 6 fitted with Sharklets
Airbus A320neo 133[36]
Airbus A321-200 9 2 12 182 194 5 fitted with Sharklets
Airbus A330-200 11 7 30 222 252
Airbus A350-900 10 10
First delivery scheduled for 2018 to Avianca Brazil.
Boeing 787-8 4[37] 11 5 28 222 250
Cessna 208 10 12 12
Embraer 190 12 3 8 88 96
Total 165 178 18

Avianca, Air France and British Airways are currently 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.[38]


Avianca fleet following the jet era[39][40]
Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Fokker 100 2005 2011 replaced by Airbus A318. Operated total of 15
McDonnell Douglas MD-11ER 1999 1999 All leased
Fokker 50 1993 2014 11 replaced by Atr 72-600
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 1992 2011 Operated total of 31
Boeing 757–259 1992 2010 Operated total of 22
Boeing 767-359 1994 2010 Operated total of 10
Boeing 767–259 1989 2011 Operated total of 10
Boeing 727–159 1966 1992 -
Boeing 727–259 1978 1998 -
Boeing 707–359 1969 1993 Operated a total of 18 aircraft. One was written off as Avianca Flight 52[41]
Boeing 720 1961 1984 -
Boeing 747 1976 1995 Owned a total of 6. Initially had 1 -100, 2 -200M and 2 -100F.[42] One -200M written off as Avianca Flight 011 so Avianca leased an extra -100 as a replacement aircraft
Boeing 737–159 1968 1971 Operated a total of two. First Latin American airline to operate them
Avianca fleet prior to the jet era[39][40][43]
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 1968 1978
Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation 1958 1968
Lockheed L-749 Constellation 1956 1968
Curtiss C-46 1950 ?
Douglas C-54 Skymaster 1948 1975
Consolidated Catalina 1946 ?
Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar C-60 ? ?
Douglas DC-4 1945 1970
Douglas DC-3 1939 1975
Douglas DC-2/C-39 1944 ?
Boeing 247D 1937 1947
Fokker Super Universal 1931 1934
Ford Trimotor 5-AT-DS 1932 1946
Sikorsky S-38 1929 ?
de Havilland Tiger Moth ? ?
de Havilland Giant Moth ? ?
Junkers W 34 1929 1947
Junkers W 33 1928 1932
Dornier Do J ? ?
Dornier Merkur 1927 ?
Dornier Komet ? ?
Junkers F.13 1920 1939
An Avianca Boeing 767-200ER taxiing at Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain in 2008.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

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.


  1. ^ Avianca compró Aerounión:
  2. ^ "Resultados Avianca 2009". Retrieved 2012-0928.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Álvaro Uribe Vélez; Jorge Humberto Botero Angulo (March 7, 2005). "Decreto número 604 de 2005 por el cual se concede la Orden del Mérito Comercial en la Categoría de Gran Oficial a Avianca" [Decree number 604 of 2005 which grants to Avianca the Order of Commercial Merit in the Category of Great Officer] (PDF) (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo de la República de Colombia. 
  4. ^ Álvaro Uribe Vélez (March 7, 2005). "Discurso de entrega de la Orden del Mérito Comercial en la Categoría de Gran Oficial a Avianca" [Presidential address on the Order of Commercial Merit in the Category of Great Officer to Avianca] (.htm) (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Presidencia de la República de Colombia. Nosotros no podemos perder la oportunidad de tener en Bogotá ese gran centro de conexiones. Y por supuesto, que lo haga la compañía bandera de Colombia, que es Avianca. Eso lo tiene que explicar el Gobierno a la opinión pública clara y paladinamente, sin malicias, sin cartas escondidas, y salir a defenderlo y decir por qué hay que hacerlo. 
  5. ^ Simón Rodríguez Rodríguez (September 21, 1989). "Sentencia del Honorable Consejo de Estado de la República de Colombia con relación al proceso número 132 que reposa en el expediente del año 1989 (ce-sec1-exp1989-n132)" [Sentence of the Honourable Council of State of the Republic of Colombia in relation to the process number 132 which rests on the record of 1989 (ce-sec1-exp1989-n132)] (.doc) (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Consejo de Estado de la República de Colombia. pp. 10, 16, 5th paragraph. Desde ningún punto de vista puede abrigarse duda alguna acerca del carácter eminentemente privado de la empresa Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia AVIANCA S. A. La prueba por excelencia en este caso, como es el certificado expedido por el Secretario de la Cámara de Comercio de Barranquilla así lo determina (fls. 2 a 10). En él se lee que la empresa se constituyó por escritura pública número 2374, otorgada ante Notaría Segunda de Barranquilla, el día 5 de diciembre de 1919, registrada en el Juzgado Tercero del mismo Circuito, llamada inicialmente Sociedad Colombo – Alemana de Transportes Aéreos -SCADTA-. 
  6. ^ Friedman, Max Paul (April 2000). "Specter of a Nazi Threat: United States-Colombian Relations, 1939–1945". The Americas. 4 (Washington, D.C. (United States): Catholic University of America Press on behalf of Academy of American Franciscan History) 56: 563–589 [566 2nd paragraph]. JSTOR 1008173. 
  7. ^ "Avianca-TACA joint venture ready for implementation". Flightglobal. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  8. ^ "Flightgobal: Avianca-TACA joint venture ready for implementation". February 2, 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  9. ^ "Avianca confirms 'strategic merger' with TACA". Flightglobal. 10 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Avianca cumple 90 años" (in Spanish). Avianca. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "90th anniversary sticker on Avianca's airliner". Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  12. ^ Brown, Claire; Claire Brown (Director of Communications at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum) (1998-07-28). "National Air and Space Museum Exhibition Examines the Development of Latino Aviation". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 1998-07-28. SCADTA Junkers F 13, one of the first commercial airlines in Colombia. SCADTA (now known as AVIANCA) is the oldest, continuously operating airline in the Western Hemisphere. 
  13. ^ "Avianca, Taca Airlines and Copa Airlines join Star Alliance". Star Alliance. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  14. ^ "Avianca-Taca and Copa Airlines to join Star Alliance". Star Alliance. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11/10/2010.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  15. ^ "Latin American airlines to merge". BBC. 8 October 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Avianca looking to replace Fokkers 100". 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  17. ^ "Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, United Airlines and Avianca-TACA announce their intention to establish close cooperation agreements". 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Airline Co-operation in Chile". Airliner World: 14. March 2015. 
  20. ^ Buitrago, Alejandra. "Avianca tendrá nueva sede administrativa a comienzos del 2009 en Eje Empresarial del Salitre." Portafolio. Retrieved on July 11, 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."
  21. ^ Oficinas Colombia[dead link]." Avianca. March 9, 2000. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  22. ^ (March 18, 2011). "Aerolíneas aliadas" [Alliance partners] (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Avianca. 
  23. ^ Avianca (June 1, 2008). "Aerolíneas aliadas: Air Canada" (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Avianca. 
  24. ^ Avianca (June 1, 2008). "Aerolíneas aliadas: Avianca Brasil" (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Avianca. 
  25. ^ (June 14, 2008). "Iberia y Avianca en código compartido" (in Spanish). Buenos Aires (Argentina): aerospacio. 
  26. ^ Avianca (November 3, 2010). "Avianca y Lufthansa firman acuerdo de operación en código compartido" (PDF) (in Spanish). Bogotá DC (Colombia): 
  27. ^ Emisora Ejercito (July 18, 2007). "Satena y Avianca firman acuerdo de ampliación de servicios" (in Spanish). Bogotá DC (Colombia): 
  28. ^ "Chilean, Colombian airlines reach codeshare agreement – Colombia news". Colombia Reports. 23 November 2011. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ La Republica (January 27, 2011). "Avianca-Taca, Copa Airlines y United Airlines establecen acuerdos de cooperación" (in Spanish). Bogotá DC (Colombia): 
  31. ^ "Alianza Estrategica Deprisa – UPS". 
  32. ^ Star Alliance (March 18, 2011). "Star Alliance Members". Franckfort (Germany): 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Avianca Colombia Fleet". Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  35. ^ "Avianca Fleet". Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Avianca Celebrates Arrival of the Dreamliner". Airliner World: 14. March 2015. 
  39. ^ a b "Avianca cumple 90 años" (in Spanish). Avianca. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  40. ^ a b Avianca (April 4, 2010). "Nace una historia con alas" (.htm) (in Spanish). Bogotá, D.C. (Colombia): Avianca. 
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Davies, R.E.G., Airlines of Latin America since 1919, London 1984
  44. ^ Accident description for C-108 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  45. ^ Accident description for HK-163 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 May 2012.
  46. ^ Accident description for HK-328 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  47. ^ Accident description for HK-135 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  48. ^ Jamaica Observer, "From Avianca to CanJet: MoBay Airport at Centre of J'can Aviation History", 22 April 2009 . Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  49. ^ Accident description for HK-109 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  50. ^ Accident description for HK-174 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  51. ^ Accident description for CCCP-M25 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
  52. ^ "Hijacking description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  53. ^ "HK-107 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  54. ^ "HK-1341 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  55. ^ "HK-111 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  56. ^ "HK-508 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  57. ^ "Colombia". Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  58. ^ "Americas | Massive security at Colombia's airports". BBC News. 2002-07-19. Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  59. ^ "Recordando los 10 años del secuestro del Fokker de Avianca". Noticias ABC colombia. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 

External links[edit]