Avianca Adding Routes to Beaches With Eye On Bankruptcy Exit

Avianca Holdings SA plans to add dozens of routes using smaller aircraft as it plots its emergence from bankruptcy later this year, the airline’s chief executive said, Bloomberg News reported. Colombia’s largest carrier is expanding with 50 direct routes between secondary cities in coming years, said CEO Anko van der Werff in an interview. Using narrow-body planes, it will target tourist spots such as Punta Cana, Cartagena and Cancun, offering a new level of cheaper fares to capture demand for leisure travel that’s leading a rebound after the pandemic crippled the airline business. Latin America’s second-largest airline before the Covid-19 pandemic, Avianca filed for Chapter 11 in May, citing the impact of government lockdowns that forced it to ground its fleet. It raised $2 billion under its bankruptcy plan, including funding from United Airlines, Salvadoran air mogul Roberto Kriete’s Kingsland Holdings and Citadel LLC, the hedge fund founded by billionaire Ken Griffin. After the bankruptcy restructuring, Avianca will offer cheap fares to some destinations where it faces competition from low-cost carriers -- including through its hubs in Colombia and El Salvador. But the airline has no plans to relinquish its position as a major carrier, van der Werff said. Read more.