United Airlines will add flights to its route that connects Bogotá and the New York metropolitan area this summer, the U.S.-based carrier announced today. Beginning on June 8, the airline will start operating two flights per day between Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and El Dorado International Airport in the Colombian capital.
It will continue this schedule for more than two months before returning to its customary daily flight between the two locations on August 14. For the airline, this date marks the end of the “peak travel season” for flying between the New York area and South America’s “popular destination for business and leisure travelers,” said United in a statement.
The increased service for United, which also offers two flights daily between Houston and Bogotá, comes during a year in which the airline has been attempting to form a strategic partnership with Colombian carrier Avianca.
The Bogotá-based airline spent much of 2016 searching for the right global partner, and the company announced on January 31 that it “intends to pursue a long-term, strategic commercial alliance with United Airlines whose terms are yet to be negotiated.”
This was soon met with a legal challenge from minority Avianca shareholder Kingsland Holdings Ltd, which filed suit against Avianca, controlling Avianca shareholder German Efromovich, and United Continental Holdings. The filing claimed that the deal would hurt minority investors and alleged that “the United transaction diverts the vast majority of the consideration United is paying for a partnership with Avianca — a valuable asset that may provide United with an estimated annual profit in excess of $75 million USD — to Efromovich’s financially shaky affiliates.”
Avianca later countersued Kingsland. Its suit called Roberto Kriete of Kingsland, which has a 22% voting position in Avianca, a “disloyal director who has worked actively to undermine the company’s strategic goals.” It also countered the allegations against Efromovich by alleging that the Kingsland suit was filed by Kriete “for his own selfish purposes.”
United Airlines also announced today that it is adding a new direct flight between Newark and Buenos Aires. Pending governmental approval, it will begin operating the route on October 28. Once it adds the Argentina capital to its destination list, United will fly to 14 different locations in South America, more than any other U.S. carrier, according to the airline.
“From the New York City area, United Airlines operates more nonstop flights to Central and South America than any other U.S. carrier,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “Our new daily Buenos Aires service gives United customers another convenient way to travel between the U.S. East Coast and Argentina.”
Photo credit: Lasse Fuss