In the midst of the global COVID pandemic, Medellín based Low-Cost Carrier Viva is among the few airlines in the world that has reported growth, projecting to transport 6.5 million passengers during 2021, in over 40,000 flights by the end of the year, with a load factor (aircraft occupancy) of 85%. The airline increased its route network to 34 domestic and 7 international routes, and for the third consecutive year, has been deemed the most punctual airline in Colombia, according to airline industry research firm OAG.
2021 also saw Viva rebrand and launch its new yellow + aquamarine image, and also bring its fleet up to 21 aircraft, including 10 latest generation Airbus A320neo high-efficiency aircraft sporting General Electric LEAP-1A high-bypass turbofan jet engines that reduce environmental impact while generating a saving of 20% in fuel consumption, reduction in up to 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions, as well as diminishing cabin noise by 50%.
Viva also inaugurated José Maria Córdova International Airport in the Medellín suburb of Rionegro as its “HUB MEDELLÍN” Connection Center, facilitating the connection of more than 250,000 passengers so far in 2021.
“2021 has undoubtedly been a very positive year for the company. We have been pioneers in safe reactivation, showing our passengers that it is possible to fly with all biosafety protocols to a wide network of routes, guaranteeing the punctuality of their flights and, above all, at low prices. The figures that we deliver today confirm the confidence and preference of Colombian travelers for Viva and its Super Low Cost model,” said Viva CEO Félix Antelo.
During a year-end rendering of accounts, the privately held airline indicated that during 2021 it managed to offer 12% more seats than in pre-pandemic 2019, and exceeding in the second half of 2021, monthly passenger traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels. Viva now dubs itself as ‘The king of the beaches’ with 18 routes to beach destinations and the largest number of seats available to Caribbean destinations such as San Andrés (49% market share), Santa Marta (44%) and Cartagena (35%).
Viva has also announced a commercial alliance with Tuya and Puntos Colombia, for the launch of the ‘Viva Card’, an branded charge card with access to credits and discounts on tickets. Viva bills itself as the first airline in the country certified with the ‘Certified Check In’ biosafety seal, as well as the ‘Biosecurity Operations’ granted by ICONTEC, and the ‘Safe Travel’ international seal. Viva states that to date, 95% of its staff are immunized against the coronavirus.
“Since our start of operations in 2012, at Viva we have transported more than 30 million travelers between Colombia and Peru, on an average of 217,000 flights. This has been possible thanks to a Super Low-Cost differential fare offer, as well as compliance with the highest standards of safety and punctuality on our flights, which, it should be noted, allowed us to ratify for the third consecutive year as the most punctual airline in Colombia and one of the most important airlines in Latin America, having a 90% compliance as a holding company. Punctuality is and will continue to be an obsession for Viva,” added Antelo.
Over the past year, the non-profit affiliate, the Viva Foundation benefited more than 27,500 people in Colombia and Peru, investing more than $500,000 USD in projects and programs that benefit vulnerable populations through activities such as the transport of 35 tons of items such as prosthetics by the Humanos 3D Foundation, school kits, books and humanitarian aid.