Medellín based international low-cost air carrier Viva Air has added Cali, Colombia as a base of operations (in effect, a mini-hub), stationing two Airbus A320 Aircraft at Cali’s international airport, and adding new routes between Cali and both Barranquilla & Santa Marta, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
When Viva Air launched operations over 6 years ago, relations were rocky with airport officials at Cali’s international airport in Palmira, Colombia, according to the new corporate biography “The Viva Effect.” However, with the return of the airline to Colombia’s third largest city in 2019 and subsequent rapid expansion, it appears that they have turned over a new leaf and are now very much in sync.
According to the airline, its new Cali base will create 200 jobs in Valle del Cauca, the Colombian department where Cali and its suburb of Palmira are located. According to Viva Air, this addition makes the airline the leader for connectivity with Cali and other destinations—barely a year after the airline returned to the Cali market.
“Today Viva has full capacity to compete in new and better conditions in the market. Having Cali as a base of our operations, adding to our bases in Medellín, Bogotá and Lima, not only promotes tourism, but also positively impacts the generation of direct and indirect employment, and the economic development of the Valley and the entire country. We ratify our commitment to Cali as a destination and we remain firm in our purpose of invigorating the air sector in Colombia through air inclusion,” said Félix Antelo, CEO of Viva Air. “In addition, we became the number one airline in connectivity for Cali,” he added.
The Cali Barranquilla route will have four weekly flights on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. For its part, the Cali – Santa Marta – Cali route will begin operations on Friday, December 4. It should be noted that Viva is the only operator on this route, which will have a daily flight for the high season at the end of the year. Furthermore, consistent with its sustainability strategy, the airline decided not to carry out the traditional water spray “baptism” of its inaugural flights from now on to conserve natural resources, starting with the launch of these two routes.
Since the beginning of operations in 2012, Viva has transported 27 million travelers on over 182,000 flights. Even during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, Viva Air’s market share in Colombia went from 15 to 24%, according to figures from Aerocivil, Colombia’s civil aviation authority.
New route details to & from Cali:
o Cali – Barranquilla: 5:30 p.m.
o Barranquilla – Cali: 7:50 p.m.
Operation start date: December 3, 2020
o Cali – Santa Marta: 10:10 a.m.
o Santa Marta – Cali: 12:30 p.m.
Operation start date: December 4, 2020