Viva Air and Latam seek to take away Avianca’s market share in the “new normal”

José González Bell – [email protected]

After six months of ceasing operations and two months of reopening the skies, the air market is beginning to show signs of recovery, but also of a recomposition. In this new dynamic, Viva and Latam seek to increase their participation and thus take ground away from Avianca.

Precisely, this airline closed 2019 being the leader with more than 50% of the mobilized passenger market. However, from September 1 to November 2, the airline dropped to 40%. The opposite case is that of Viva Air, which last year had a 15% share and which in this new normal amounts to 24%, according to data from Aerocivil. For its part, Latam remained stable and seeks to close the year with a 30% dominance.

Although the airlines are not yet operating with 100% of their capacity, the actions and plans of new routes by the companies are a sign of the struggle for greater prominence in the domestic market.

“We believe that the effects of the pandemic, which have led to the restructuring of some airlines, represent an opportunity for the air market to become more dynamic and equitable. That is why it is important to promote a fair and competitive environment for all airlines, ”said Félix Antelo, president of Viva Air. Currently, the company operates 19 routes in the domestic market and they expect to resume 90% of operations by the end of the year.

As part of this strategy to strengthen the market, they recently announced the launch of three new routes that connect Cali with Bogotá, Barranquilla and Santa Marta.

Meanwhile, Santiago Álvarez, director of Latam Colombia, said that in November 17 of the 20 domestic routes they had before the pandemic will operate and they expect to operate at 50% of their installed capacity. Regarding market share, they announced that they will reach a historical figure of 30% compared to 23% at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bet of the airline is to open more routes and thus gain ground. At the moment they are in the process with Aerocivil to obtain operating permits on the Bogotá – Pasto, Bogotá – Armenia and Cali – Barranquilla routes.

“The pandemic has had devastating effects on the airline industry, but at the same time it is opening up opportunities to realign the market. We think that this is a market where we can reach a third of the participation and we are working in that direction ”, expressed Álvarez.

Avianca, market leader with 29 active routes, does not plan to launch new routes, but it does plan to increase frequencies.

For its part, Wingo already has seven routes active in the domestic market. They hope to close the year with nine and are evaluating the opening of new destinations. The airline added three new routes that it did not operate before.

Easyfly completes the reactivation of 29 direct routes through the national territory. Alfonso Ávila, president of the company, preferred to be more cautious in the face of the possibility of a strong recomposition in the market, since the offer has not yet recovered.

The truth is that, in this new normal, customer service and financial management are key to compete.

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