Colombia’s Avianca backs down from Viva Air merger

An Avianca Airlines plane prepares to take off at the San Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis TalpaAn Avianca Airlines plane lands at the San Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

BOGOTA, May 13 (Reuters) – Colombia's flagship airline Avianca is backing down from a merger with Viva Air, blaming conditions set by the country's aviation regulator, the company announced Saturday.

In a statement, Avianca said conditions set by the regulator "would not allow Viva to be a financially and operationally viable airline," and also put Avianca's stability at risk.

Among the reasons, Avianca said the deal gave little "regulatory flexibility" to reactivate Viva's operations.

It also said the deal required Avianca to assume routes, commitments and prices that "don't coincide with Viva's remaining capacity" after having suspended operations for two months.

"Regretfully the conditions of this resolution, which is a firm decision, make the rescuing Viva impossible," Avianca CEO Adrian Neuhauser said in the statement, adding that the conditions also but Colombia's connectivity at risk.

Colombia's aviation regultaor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The merger was a lifeline for embattled Viva, which has struggled financially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and seen its situation worsen due to higher fuel prices in 2022 and the depreciation of Colombia's peso.

Colombia's aviation regulator approved the merger in late April after repeated delays, with the civil aviation authority objecting to the deal last November, before annulling and reopening the process in January after citing procedural irregularities.

Amid the limbo, Viva Air abruptly suspended operations in late February, leaving passengers stranded in airports across the country.

  • article with galleryWorldcategoryRussia says Ukraine used Storm Shadow missiles from Britain to attack LuhanskMay 13, 2023
  • article with galleryAerospace & DefensecategoryJet orders boom as airlines fear shortageMay 12, 2023
  • article with galleryFOCUSSmall aerospace suppliers press for better protections against rising costsMay 12, 2023
  • WorldcategoryEU must speed up supply of ammunition to Ukraine – BorrellMay 13, 2023


Related posts

Alaska Airlines operations return to normal after weather disruptions

Cynthia Danforth

Best Buy lays off hundreds of store workers in online push, Wall Street Journal reports

Cynthia Danforth

BYD lowers starting price for Seagull electric hatchback

Cynthia Danforth

Leave a Comment