|Founded||1998 (as OceanAir)|
|Ceased operations||24 May 2019 (suspended)|
14 July 2020 (bankrupt)
|Hubs||São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Programa Amigo|
|Alliance||Star Alliance (affiliate)|
|Parent company||Synergy Group|
|Headquarters||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Key people||José Efromovich (CEO)|
|Revenue||US$720 million (2019)|
Avianca Brasil S.A. (Portuguese: Avianca Brasil), officially Oceanair Linhas Aéreas S/A, was a Brazilian airline based in Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil. According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), which cancelled its operation, prior to cessation of operations, from January to December 2018 Avianca Brasil had 13.4% of the domestic and 7.3% of the international market share in terms of passengers per kilometer flown, making it the fourth-largest airline both in domestic and international traffic in Brazil. The company slots (landings and take-off permits) were redistributed by Anac. An auction on 10 July 2019 raised R$555.3 million, not enough to pay a debt of R$2.7 billion, although Avianca's bankruptcy was not officially decreed.
The airline was established in 1998 as an air taxi company to operate services for oil companies in the Campos Basin. Its name was then OceanAir and began to operate scheduled services in 2002, between São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Macaé and Campos. Soon afterwards, it became better known to the public with a scheduled flight (no longer operated) connecting Congonhas Airport in São Paulo and Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro via São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, enabling international passengers from both cities easy access to the country's largest international hub from those cities' more convenient central airports. At the time, OceanAir's fare between São Paulo's airports was cheaper than a taxi and on par with a luxury bus ride.
In 2004, Synergy Group, the owner of OceanAir, bought Colombian airline Avianca, and as a result OceanAir became a feeder for Avianca's flights into Guarulhos. This partnership between the two airlines increased the flow of passengers between Colombia and Brazil. In 2004, Synergy Group also bought VIP Ecuador as part of a strategy to create a continent-wide airline under the Avianca brand. In 2006, a joint venture formed by OceanAir (49%) and Fondo de Inversiones Sustentables (51%) created a new Peruvian airline called Wayraperú, but the airline suspended operations a few months later.
OceanAir started its first international operation to Mexico in 2007, with Boeing 767-300 aircraft, but in April 2008 the flights were discontinued. Since then the airline has concentrated its efforts on the Brazilian domestic market. 5 Airbus A330 and 30 Airbus A320 aircraft were ordered in 2010, a contract worth US$ 2,5 billion. With this fleet growth, Efromovich intended to control 15% of the Brazilian air market in the next decade, including routes to Mexico, Colombia, Africa and the United States.
On 9 October 2009, Synergy announced that TACA and Avianca would merge. This merger increased OceanAir's feeder operations, already implemented with Avianca in São Paulo, to include TACA in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport, Santos Dumont Airport, Salgado Filho International Airport in Porto Alegre and Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport in Brasilia.
On 26 March 2010 Germán Efromovich announced the rebranding of OceanAir as Avianca Brasil. OceanAir Linhas Aéreas remains the legal name of the airline. This allows Synergy group to further align the operations of OceanAir and Avianca. The first aircraft with the new name started operations on 27 April 2010. The only notable differences between the aircraft of Avianca Colombia and those of Avianca Brasil are the latter's Brazilian registrations and a small Brazilian flag under their cockpit windows.
On 10 November 2010, Star Alliance decided to accept Avianca Holdings to join the network as a member airline. However, Avianca Brasil was rejected at the time due to its outdated IT platforms and an objection by TAM Airlines, which since left Star Alliance to join Oneworld after merging with LAN. Upon TAM's exit, Avianca Brasil officially joined Star Alliance on 22 July 2015 as an affiliate.
On 11 October 2016, the airline took delivery of the first of eight Airbus A320neo being leased from GECAS. Independent from Avianca, the airline increased its market share from 3% in 2009 to 14% in 2018, becoming Brazil's fourth-largest carrier.
On 10 December 2018, Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy protection, R$ 100 million (US$26 million) was owed to airports and bank debt grew by 50% in 2018, while United Airlines extended a loan of US$456 million to Avianca owner Synergy Group. Total debts amount to 493 million reais (US$127 million), whereas the first half of 2018 generated 175.6 million reais of losses. On 18 April 2019 Azul cancelled its offer to buy Avianca Brasil, but resubmitted the offer on 13 May. On 24 May 2019, ANAC suspended flights of Avianca Brasil, due security reasons. On 24 June 2019, its suspension was officially written in the official Diary by Anac. On 10 July 2019, the auction generated US$147,32 million or R$555,3 million from Gol and Latam, if valid, however the debts are R$2.7 billion.
Even though the legal name of the airline remained OceanAir, it was re-branded as Avianca since it was owned by Synergy Group, which owned Avianca Holdings. The original Avianca of Colombia and Avianca Brasil remained separate legal entities, but in February 2017, it was reported that Avianca Holdings planned to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to fold Avianca Brasil into Avianca Holdings. Its current CEO, Frederico Pedreira, took office in April 2016. José Efromovich, younger brother of Germán Efromovich, President of Avianca Holdings, who had led the company since 2008, took office as chairman of the Board of Directors on the same date.
As of December 2019, the Avianca Brasil fleet included the following aircraft.
|Aircraft||Out of service||Orders||Passengers||Owner|
|Fokker 100||2||—||—||Abandoned at Congonhas|
|Airbus A318-100||7||—||—||120||120||to be returned soon to Airbus Financial Services |
4 Stored at Congonhas Airport PR-ONC, PR-ONH, PR-ONI & PR-ONP
2 Abandoned at São José dos Campos Airport PR-AVL & PR-ONO
1 Abandoned at Brasília Airport PR-ONR
|Airbus A319-100||4||2010||2019||Returned to Wells Fargo & Aircol 17|
|Airbus A320-200||29||2011||2019||Returned to owners due to default|
|Airbus A320neo||12||2016||2019||Returned to owners due to default. All went to Azul Brazilian Airlines.|
|Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia||7||2002||2008|
Avianca Brasil had a frequent-flyer program called Programa Amigo.
Accidents and incidents
- On August 12, 2010, a Learjet 55C (registered PT-LXO) was damaged in a runway excursion accident at Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport. The aircraft ran off the end of runway 02R into the Guanabara Bay. The three occupants were not injured.
- On March 28, 2014, a Fokker 100 (registered PR-OAF) crashed while landing at Brasília International Airport after the nose landing gear could not be extended. No one was harmed in the incident, but the aircraft was written off.
- On March 3, 2019, an Airbus A320-200 (registered PR-OCW) suffered a minor runway excursion on landing in heavy rainfall on runway 15 of Rio de Janeiro/Galeão International Airport.
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- Exame Magazine, 18 December 2006
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- Dron, Alan (17 June 2016). "Etihad, Avianca Brasil ink new codeshare". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016.
- "Avianca Brasil Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
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- "OceanAir Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
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- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
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