Avianca Argentina follows in its Brazilian counterpart’s footsteps and suspends all operations

Avianca Argentina ©AirTeamImages

Only two weeks after another Avianca carrier was forced to suspend operations, Avianca Argentina has obtained governmental approval for a 90-day suspension of all activities while it looks to restructure its business and network model. “With the current aircraft and the competition that exists, it is not viable to continue with the operations,” the CEO of the company, Carlos Colunga, told Argentinian news agency Telam. Avianca Argentina operated two ATR 72-600 aircraft on its two domestic routes, Buenos Aires-Mar Del Plata and Buenos Aires-Santa Fe. The 90-day suspension has an option for a further 90-day extension and as it is state approved, this should protect Avianca Argentina from sanctions linked to flight suspensions.

The parent company of Avianca Argentina and Avianca Brazil is the Synergy Group, headed by entrepreneur Germán Efromovich. Synergy Group acquired the formerly named Avian Lineas Aereas in 2016 and had intended to operate narrow-body jets on international routes, but this never came to fruition. As part of a regional expansion plan, in 2016 Synergy announced 12 firm orders and 6 options for the ATR 72-600, of which two to date have been delivered. The six options were canceled in mid-2018.

Efromovich and Synergy’s woes were compounded last month with Efromovich being ousted as chairman of another Synergy carrier, Columbia’s flag-carrying airline, Avianca. Despite being the majority shareholder, Efromovich was replaced by Roberto Kriete, head of Texas-based minority shareholder Kingsland Holding Ltd.

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