Avianca is one of Latin America’s largest airlines, with bases in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Guatemala. While the airline already has an extensive route network to North America, the carrier has just revealed a significant expansion.
These new routes come as Avianca has filed its reorganization plan after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States in May 2020. The airline believes that these new routes will allow sustainable growth, and a more comprehensive route network.
Avianca adds new routes from five countries
Avianca has announced that it will launch well over 20 new international routes, many of which are to the United States. In some cases these are routes that were offered at some point in the past, while in other cases they’re new routes altogether. As of now start dates and aircraft types for these new flights haven’t yet been announced, but they should be soon (I’d imagine narrow body aircraft will almost exclusively be used for these routes).
From Colombia, Avianca will add routes between:
- Bogota and Toronto
- Bucaramanga and Miami
- Cali and Cancun
- Cali and Mexico City
- Cali and New York
- Cali and Quito
- Cali and San Jose
- Medellin and Aruba
- Medellin and Guayaquil
- Medellin and Mexico City
- Medellin and Orlando
- Medellin and Quito
- Medellin and San Jose
From Ecuador, Avianca will add routes between:
- Guayaquil and Medellin
- Guayaquil and Miami
- Guayaquil and New York
- Quito to Cali
- Quito to Medellin
- Quito and Miami
- Quito and New York
From Costa Rica, Avianca will add routes between:
- San Jose and Cali
- San Jose and Los Angeles
- San Jose and Managua
- San Jose and Medellin
- San Jose and Mexico City
- San Jose and New York
From Guatemala, Avianca will add a route between:
- Guatemala City and Washington
From El Salvator, Avianca will add a route between:
- San Salvador and Orlando (Avianca describes Orlando as “the main tourist destination in the United States,” lol)
The above routes are in addition to the existing service already offered in these markets, which is in many cases quite extensive. There are some really cool new additions here, including for Americans looking to vacation in Central or South America. For example, the Los Angeles to San Jose, and Quito to New York routes, seem like they could come in handy for Star Alliance flyers looking to earn or redeem miles.
I think Avianca is having some geography issues
Perhaps equally interesting as Avianca’s expansion is Avianca’s map of its expansion. I mean, wow. Mexico City has a lot of locations, Orlando sure has moved northwest quite a bit, Miami moved north, and the Canadians have taken over Washington. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Avianca is giving Goldstar Air’s imaginary routemap a run for its money…
Avianca has announced a very nice international expansion, with roughly two dozen new routes, many of which are to the United States. It’s fantastic to see some of this new service, which opens up point-to-point routes that in some cases weren’t previously served.
Avianca’s expansion routemap, on the other hand…
What do you make of Avianca’s international expansion?
Avianca is a company that started the service in 1919 in Barranquilla, Colombia and today I don't see any destination to this city!!! Or if any person wants to travel via Avianca from New York to Barranquilla... have stop to Bogotá first... that's ridiculous for me!!!
Fly JetBlue nonstop to Cartagena and make the short drive to Barranquilla. Much more straightforward than connecting!
Avianca has been pushed by UA management to compete against AA that came strong to fulfill the point-to-point destinations in Colombia. They also competing low-cost carriers like Spirit, Viva Air, GCA and Wingo that are being succesful at CLO airport.
I'm afraid they are biting off more than they can chew.
The response to revaluing overseas works with.
What Avianca needs is a new routing planning department, they have closed routes which were a backbone on their Central American operations, connectivity through San Salvador it's at a historical minimum, getting to Colombia or North America from Guatemala or Honduras, well, fly Copa, Avianca it's a no flight carrier...
I think Avianca needs desperately to take care of it's internal problems before considering expanding, their customer service SUCKS, it's literally impossible to speak to a real person from the US, they direct you to a virtual one on wassap and after many times I was able to do it at 3:30 am, this was to change a fight which I canceled due to covid. The flight experience was even worst. I flew first class...
I think Avianca needs desperately to take care of it's internal problems before considering expanding, their customer service SUCKS, it's literally impossible to speak to a real person from the US, they direct you to a virtual one on wassap and after many times I was able to do it at 3:30 am, this was to change a fight which I canceled due to covid. The flight experience was even worst. I flew first class and it was an experience I don't want to ever have again
I can see why they are going bankrupt. I really hope Taca Airlines buys back their share. This Airline is a nightmare. Buyer beware!
Never stop in Mexico... non-stop is better..watch your wallet..
Just having returned from Medellín (great, btw), it would be nice to have a shorter one connection option back to SFO besides S Florida. Competition is good!
LAN Peru used to fly SFO - LIM but that stopped probably 7-8 years ago and we haven't had direct South American flights since.
You could one stop from MDE via MEX on AM but that will involve Mexican immigration and a redeye on a 737. Still might be preferable to backtracking through MIA.
If you're looking for a cheap Hilton points redemption, the Bucaramanga Hampton Inn is 5,000 points/night. I stayed there for a couple of nights en route to Girón, a quaint colonial city.
Another website based overseas stated "Avianca is currently in the process of densifying its narrowbody Airbus A320 fleet. It will increase by approximately 24% its seating capacity per aircraft." A 24% densification? That sounds miserable if it's true. As it is, they have some pretty long routes in A320 series aircraft (and the older models, not a A321XL or anything like that).
Glad to see them adding routes out of SJO, which was a hub for TACA (which Avianca bought about 10 years ago) and which was the headquarters of predecessor airline LACSA (some TACA flights still had LACSA codes). Since then, Avianca has deemphasized San Jose to the point where it wasn't even a focus city. What was once the number 1 airline from SJO was handily beaten by Copa and others. It's good that they...
Glad to see them adding routes out of SJO, which was a hub for TACA (which Avianca bought about 10 years ago) and which was the headquarters of predecessor airline LACSA (some TACA flights still had LACSA codes). Since then, Avianca has deemphasized San Jose to the point where it wasn't even a focus city. What was once the number 1 airline from SJO was handily beaten by Copa and others. It's good that they are trying to get back into that market, which is actually a decent Central American business market - and that kind of travel involves bouncing between other Latin American cities such as MGA, GUA, SAL, PTY, etc.
In case of Quito - New York this route had been previously served by TAME, which went out of business. TAME used an a A330 and Avianca will use A320, so I guess this is the adequate capacity.
"Avianca describes Orlando as “the main tourist destination in the United States,” lol"
I'm not a fan of Orlando, but it does constantly vie with NYC for the most visited US destination. The two generally flip-flop depending on how you define a visitor, but it is arguably the number one US destination.
The Quito/Guayaquil routes are nice additions, but anyone going to the Galapagos should book the LATAM flight 10/10 times. More frequencies and WAY more reliable.
There are some really interesting additions though. I like the NY-Cali route - that's a city I've had friends visit and loved (and no, not for THAT reason). Flights to Colombia are so cheap, I'd imagine these will be as well.