Aerocivil Defends Conditions Imposed on Avianca’s Failed Rescue of Viva, Says Colombian Air Travel Remains Strong
Despite Avianca’s decision to abandon its pursuit of low-cost carrier Viva Air, Aerocivil said that the nation’s air travel sector remains strong and that the Colombian aviation authority’s controversial conditions for a merger were crafted in hopes that Viva could maintain operations while also guaranteeing a competitive environment and user protection.
“When resolving the appeal, the Secretary of Aeronautical Authority of Aerocivil made the conditions more flexible in order to enable the continuity of Viva Air within an integrated organization, respecting the rights of passengers and the minimum requirements to guarantee a competitive environment and user protection,” said Aerocivil in a statement.
Avianca CEO Adrian Neuhauser said in a statement that company walked away from the deal due to the imposed conditions, which were handed down after Colombia’s largest airline appealed the initial rejection of the merger.
“Unfortunately,” said Neuhauser, “the conditions of this resolution, which is already the firm decision, make it impossible to rescue Viva by making it not only unviable as an airline, but, if integration occurs under the conditions imposed by Aerocivil, it would put at risk the stability of Avianca and the connectivity of Colombia.”
While many have criticized the agency for its role in the expected permanent exit of the low-cost carrier from the market, Aerocivil said it expected other airlines to fill the drop in capacity since Viva ceased operations on February 27.
“The Colombian air travel market is strong and stable,” said Aerocivil. “The data shows a resilient demand to attract airlines to supply the capacity left by Viva Air and thus continue improving the dynamics that enable a return to a path of growth.”
The Bogotá-based regulatory authority said it will continue to support current and future operators in the space by working to ensure “fair, attractive, and competitive conditions for investment, focused on the stability of the sector and maintaining a commitment to its social function.”
In response to the incident, Aerocivil stated that it also plans to make modifications to the “scope of its decision-making body of commercial aviation projects” and review its 2030 strategic plan for regulating the industry, among other potential changes.
It would be very inciteful to know exactly what were the requirements from Aerocivil in order to allow Avianca to buy the failed Viva assets.
I am thinking Avianca’s only interest was to purchase the assets to get the routes and gates and then proceed to block them from use. Avianca is famous for using there political muscle to stifle competition and screw the consumer.
I could be wrong, but without your reporting on the requirements, it will remain a mystery
You are not the only one thinking that way. Why would Avianca close on such a purchase BEFORE obtaining regulatory approval? Why didn’t they sufficiently capitalize the airline once purchased, if they wanted it to continue operating? Who benefits from Viva’s demise? See also: https://www.financecolombia.com/colombian-aviation-regulators-unblock-aviancas-acquisition-of-viva-but-critical-questions-remain/