Viva Air Takes Over 1st Place In Passenger Market Share To San Andrés, Colombia’s Caribbean Archipelago
Based on flight statistics, Colombian low-cost carrier Viva Air has captured the number one spot as the primary air carrier to San Andrés, an island vacation destination far offshore in the Caribbean Sea. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, Viva Air transported over 100,000 passengers to and from San Andrés during the first two months of 2021, with a load factor (occupancy rate) of 94%.
During pandemic lockdowns in 2020, the airline still transported more than 247,000 travelers to and from the islands from four continental destinations that Viva Air operates directly to San Andrés: The cities of Cartagena and Cali, with daily flights all week; and Bogotá and Medellín with two flights every day.
Viva Air now has a fleet of 21 aircraft, including 19 factory-new Airbus A320 & A320neo, and an on-time rating of 95%.
“We ratify our commitment to San Andrés as a strategic destination and we remain firm in our intention to contribute to the economic reactivation of the country through air inclusion. Today we are the airline with the strongest footing on the island and this confirms that more and more Colombians trust our biosafety model and protocols,” said Viva Air CEO Felix Antelo. “We are proud to see that the low-cost option is consolidated in a destination as important for Colombia as San Andrés, promoting the development of the region and the much-needed reactivation of tourism in the country.”
Before Viva Air began flights to San Andrés in 2012, only about 7,000 passengers per month visited from Medellín. Within 12 months of its arrival, Viva had carried 25,000 passengers per month on the Medellín-San Andrés route, highlighting what Viva Air calls “The Viva Effect,” lowering market prices among competitors and spurring discretionary and leisure travel.
To help supply the island, which is a multi-day journey by cargo ship, Viva operates an air cargo transportation service to San Andrés, transporting more than 37 tons of cargo to date in 2021, improving access and supply for the island.
San Andrés suffered significant damage from tropical storm Iota at the end of 2020. The Viva Air Foundation airlifted 74 tons of food in more than 500 care packages donated by volunteers and 550 school kits to the islands (above photo), while mobilizing 9 teams of lifeguards and 2 veterinarians to support the residents.