Avianca is restoring business class on select routes within the Americas, backtracking on a decision the carrier made in 2022.
Avianca brings back business class on key Americas routes
Since the start of the pandemic, Avianca has been trying to transform its business, by becoming a more efficient airline. As part of this, the airline eliminated business class on flights within the Americas as of October 2022.
Not only did Avianca reconfigure its Airbus A320s to remove business class and add 20% more seats, but the airline also stopped selling business class on flights within the Americas that were operated by Airbus A330s and Boeing 787s. Instead these premium cabins were just sold as seats with more space, but without additional service.
With this policy change, Avianca only maintained business class on flights to Europe. I thought from the beginning that this was the wrong move, and I guess the airline now agrees, because it’s backtracking.
For flights as of August 15, 2023, Avianca is restoring business class on the following routes within the Americas:
- Bogota (BOG) to Buenos Aires (EZE)
- Bogota (BOG) to Miami (MIZ)
- Bogota (BOG) to Sao Paulo (GRU)
- San Salvador (SAL) to Miami (MIA)
On top of that, Avianca has already restored business class on the Bogota (BOG) to Los Angeles (LAX) route as of July 1, 2023. Note that in each of the above markets, business class will only be sold if the flight is operated by an Airbus A330 or Boeing 787, which are the aircraft with business class cabins.
This is a sensible policy change
I can see where Avianca’s policy change came from last year, when the airline decided to just eliminate business class altogether within the Americas. The airline wanted to become more efficient and streamline its offerings. Since business class was being eliminated on narrow body planes, the airline decided it was most efficient to just not sell the product on wide body frequencies either.
However, that just seemed inefficient:
- If you’re going to be flying wide body aircraft with flat bed business class seats within the Americas, you might as well do what you can to monetize those seats and maximize revenue, because there are people willing to pay
- Avianca was probably losing customers by not selling business class; for example, if someone has a transatlantic itinerary between Europe and South America, they might book away from Avianca when they realize their connection won’t be in business class
So kudos to Avianca on this logical change…
In October 2022, Avianca stopped selling business class on flights within the Americas, as the airline tried to streamline its business model. This was despite the fact that the airline kept flying wide body aircraft within the Americas with flat bed seats.
The airline is now backtracking, and as of August 2023 will once again sell business class on five routes within the Americas, when a flight is operated by a wide body.
What do you make of Avianca backtracking on eliminating business class?