Avianca Brasil S.A.
|Founded||1998 (as OceanAir)|
|Ceased operations||24 June 2019|
|Frequent-flyer program||Programa Amigo|
|Alliance||Star Alliance (affiliate)|
|Fleet size||6 in condition of flight|
|Company slogan||É por você. ("It's for you.")|
Quem voa, ama. ("Who flies, loves.")
|Parent company||Synergy Group|
|Headquarters||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Key people||José Efromovich, Director-President|
|Revenue||US$ 720 million (2019)|
Avianca Brasil (Portuguese: Avianca Brasil), officially Oceanair Linhas Aéreas S/A, was a Brazilian airline grounded in its main base Congonhas International Airport São Paulo, Brazil. It operated passenger services to four destinations. If the airline would be able to resume services, then it would be with another name. According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), which suspended 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. On July 7, 2019 the Justice decided the company slots (landings and take-off permits) can be redistributed by Anac. An auction on July 10, 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 now) 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. Five 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 Brazil officially joined Star Alliance on July 22, 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 Colombia, the airline increased its market share from 3% in 2009 to 14 % in 2018, becoming Brazil's fourth-largest carrier.
On 10 December, 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 April 18, 2019 Azul cancelled its offer to buy Avianca Brasil, but resubmitted the offer on May 13. On May 24, 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 remains OceanAir, it has been re-branded as Avianca since it is owned by Synergy Group, which owned Avianca Holdings. The original Avianca of Colombia and Avianca Brasil remain 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 on April 2016. José Efromovich, younger brother of Germán Efromovich, President of Avianca Holdings, who has been leading the company since 2008, took office as chairman of the Board of Directors on the same date.
As of 28 April 2019, Avianca Brasil served four domestic destinations. The airline provided connections at São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport and Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, between its own flights and those of Avianca Colombia and Avianca Perú.
As of June, 2019, the Avianca Brasil fleet included the following aircraft. In May 2019 Airbus requested that the four A318 be returned to the manufacturer, but this was denied by Justice:
|Aircraft||Out of Service||Orders||Passengers||Register||Owner|
|Fokker 100||2||–||–||Abandoned at Congonhas|
|Airbus A318-100||5||–||–||120||120||PR-AVJ, PR-AVL, PR-ONC, PR-ONI||Airbus Financial Services, 1 abandoned at Congonhas|
|Airbus A319-100||2||–||–||132||132||PR-AVB, PR-AVD||Wells Fargo & Aircol 17|
|Total||9||–||–||All stored at Congonhas Airport||–|
|Airbus A320-200||2011||2019||Returned to owners due to default|
|Fokker 100||2005||2014||Replaced by Airbus A318|
|Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia||2001||2008|
Ocean Air originally had ordered a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in 2007, but the order was cancelled after Ocean Air merged with Avianca and renaming to Avianca Brasil in 2009.
Avianca Brazil had a frequent-flyer program called Programa Amigo.
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- "Gol e Latam arrematam direitos de vôo da Avianca em leilão". G1 (in Portuguese). 10 July 2019.
- "Avianca Holdings: United Air partnership and Synergy infusion raise more questions than answers". CAPA. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "Profile on Avianca Brazil". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "Nuovo code share per Alitalia, accordo con Avianca Brasil" [New codeshare agreement for Alitalia with Avianca Brazil]. ttgitalia.com (in Italian). 28 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
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