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Aerovías del Continente Americano SA
Avianca Logo.svg
Airbus A330-200 of Avianca
IATA code : AV
ICAO code : AVA
Call sign : AVIANCA
Founding: December 5, 1919
Seat: Bogotá , Colombia
Turnstile :


Home airport : Bogotá
Company form: Corporation
IATA prefix code : 134
Management: Roberto Kriete (Chairman of the Board of Directors )
Anko van der Werff ( CEO & Chairman )
Number of employees: 19,000
Sales: US $ 4.138 billion (2016)
Passenger volume: 29.4 million (2017)
Alliance : Star Alliance
Frequent Flyer Program : LifeMiles
Fleet size: 176 (+ 143 orders)
Aims: National and international

Avianca SA ( acronym for Aerovias del Continente Americano SA ) is an aviation company and the oldest airline in Colombia , based in Bogotá and based at El Dorado Airport . It is the second oldest airline in the world after the Dutch KLM . It is also the oldest continuously operating airline, a member of the Star Alliance aviation alliance and, since 2010, part of Avianca Holdings (formerly AviancaTaca ).


First years as SCADTA

Avianca was founded on December 5, 1919 as SCADTA - Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo (literally: Colombian-German Society for Air Transport ) by Werner Kämmerer , Stuart Hosie, Alberto Tietjen, Ernesto Cortissoz as the company's first president, Rafael Palacio, Jacobo Correra and Aristides Noguera in Barranquilla . On its first flight on October 19, 1920 - with the German pilot Hellmuth von Krohn - the SCADTA carried airmail in the form of 57 letters from Barranquilla to Puerto Colombia with a Junkers F 13 . Like the other nine F 13s, the machine was equipped with floats. Shortly afterwards, the Colombian government succeeded in obtaining a concession for the transport of airmail. On June 8, 1924, the SCADTA had its first crash, including the deaths of Krohn and Ernesto Cortissoz.

Before the Second World War, the Austrian industrialist Peter Paul von Bauer secretly sold his shares to Pan American Airways in order to protect the airline from being influenced by Nazi Germany . After the outbreak of the Second World War and the occupation of France, the Germans were concentrated in the SCADTA on the afternoon of June 12, 1940, they were given notice and were no longer allowed to work. However, the maintenance department managed to secure it. The next morning, SCADTA was operated under the administration of Pan Am. SCADTA's essential services have never been interrupted. In retrospect, the founders, pioneers and executives of SCADTA were German patriots , but they belonged to a milieu that the Nazi ideology could not penetrate - on the contrary.

Development in the 1940s to 1990s

A Boeing 707 of the Avianca 1972
A Boeing 747-200 from Avianca 1977
A Boeing 727-100 from Avianca 1992

On June 14, 1940, the Colombian government forced the merger of SCADTA with its main competitor, SACO - Servicio Aéreo Colombiano , and then renamed Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia SA , called Avianca . Then Avianca bought many small regional airlines. With the Douglas DC-3 deployed from October 1939, Avianca expanded its route network from 1946, initially to American destinations such as Quito , Lima , Panama City , New York and finally to Europe with the Douglas DC-4 .

In 1960 the first two jet aircraft, the Boeing 707 and Boeing 720, were purchased. The first jumbo jet , the Boeing 747, followed in 1976 . Avianca was the first South American operator of this type, just like a few years earlier with the B737 , which was not in service for long. The low engines repeatedly sucked in objects on the ground. The Boeing 767-200ER followed in 1990 .


The headquarters of Avianca in Bogotá

In 1994 a strategic alliance called Avianca System was formed with the union of Avianca, the regional airline SAM and the helicopter operator Helicol . The company expanded its offering to include freight and mail flights (Avianca Cargo) and made the fleet the most modern in South America with new aircraft such as Boeing 757 and 767 as well as Fokker 50 and Bell helicopters. The route network was expanded nationally and internationally.

After September 11, 2001 , the aviation crisis also reached Avianca. This led to the merger of Avianca, SAM and the main competitor ACES on May 20, 2002 to form Alianza Summa . The adverse circumstances of the market and the shareholders forced the dissolution of Alianza Summa in November 2003. Interest was only in the Avianca brand. This led to the dissolution of ACES and the complete integration of SAM as a pure regional airline of Avianca.

Restructuring as Aerovias del Continente Americano SA

On December 10, 2004, one of the largest reorganization processes in Avianca's history began. The company was placed under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a reorganization plan was drawn up with the help of the South American consortium Synergy Group and the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC). Avianca received new capital and was able to leave the bankruptcy protection again 13 months later.

With the new international orientation, Avianca was renamed Aerovías del Continente Americano in order to no longer just be the national airline of Colombia, but also to establish itself as an airline for other Latin American countries. Avianca rose to become one of the largest airlines in Latin America in 2007 when it took over AeroGal - today Avianca Ecuador , VIP from Ecuador and Wayraperú from Perú . In addition, there was a close partnership with OceanAir from Brazil , which even flew under a brand usage agreement as Avianca Brasil and the corresponding livery.

In 2010 Avianca also merged with TACA from El Salvador in Central America to form AviancaTaca, which was later renamed Avianca Holdings . From this point on, Avianca lost its status as a Colombian airline.

Development since 2010

On November 11, 2010 it was announced that Avianca by 2012 the international airline alliance Star Alliance will join. At the end of 2011, the last Fokker 100s were taken out of service and replaced by aircraft from the Airbus A320 family .

She joined the Star Alliance on June 21, 2012.

In 2013, a new corporate design with a new brand logo and a new painting of the fleet in the colors red and white was introduced. The new livery will also be used for the airlines Avianca Ecuador , TACA and their subsidiaries, which will create a uniform color scheme for the consolidated airline under Avianca Holdings.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the airline, an Airbus A320 ( MSN 4284) with the aircraft registration number N284AV in a retro livery that is based on the livery of the 50s has been flying since the end of 2019 . Avianca described the inauguration flight to Barranquilla as a "return to the house in which we were born as SCADTA ".

Avianca SA is listed in Barranquilla at the Chamber of Commerce and the Superintendencia de Tranporte as a public company. The main shareholders are Avianca Holdings and its wholly-owned Latin Airways Corp, both Panamanian companies that operate primarily in Colombia. Avianca received a four-year loan of US $ 250 million on October 7, 2019. As a result, Avianca is now de facto controlled by United Airlines and the loan may be converted into shares that guarantee United Airlines a majority stake.

Avianca SA announced on May 10, 2020 announced that it voluntarily the Insolvency Act subject to the insolvency court for the Southern District of New York, "to get the company's business and reorganize." Chapter 11 regulates a reorganization of the company's finances supervised by the court. The announcement is one of the direct consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic .



Avianca's route network consists of 25 destinations within Colombia and 61 international destinations in 21 countries. Avianca's hub is Bogotá, from where most international flights depart. In Europe, Madrid , Barcelona , London and Aviancas are currently the longest commercial flight with 12 hours - Munich from Bogotá with Boeing 787 .

Avianca also has codeshare agreements with Air Canada , United Airlines , Aeromexico , Copa Airlines , TAME , Satena , Turkish Airlines , Iberia , Lufthansa , All Nippon Airways , Singapore Airlines , EVA Air and Etihad Airways .


Current fleet

Avianca Airbus A319-100 in Miami
ATR 72-600 of the Avianca in Toulouse-Blagnac
Boeing 787-8 of Avianca in Madrid-Barajas

Avianca and its subsidiaries are the largest Airbus customer in South America. In April 2019, Avianca's fleet consisted of 176 aircraft with an average age of 5.5 years: Due to a slowing flight business, Avianca Holdings has renegotiated the original order for the purchase of 100 aircraft from the manufacturer Airbus and reduced it by around 20 aircraft.

Aircraft type number ordered Remarks Seats
( Business / Economy )
Airbus A318-100 010 100 (12/88)
Airbus A319-100 026th 10 equipped with sharklets ; N519AV in Star Alliance special livery; 4 operated by AeroGal and 8 by TACA 120 (12/108)
Airbus A319neo 0 - open -
Airbus A320-200 064 13 equipped with sharklets; 6 in Star Alliance special livery; 5 operated by AeroGal and 18 by TACA 150 (12/138)
Airbus A320neo 12 62 - open -
Airbus A321-200 013 9 equipped with sharklets; 6 operated by TACA 194 (12/182)
Airbus A321neo 00 26th MSN 7770 and MSN 7847, delivered in 2017; inactive 194 (12/182)
Airbus A330-200 / F 013 5 of them in freight version; 2 in Star Alliance special livery; 1 operated by TACA 252 (30/222)
ATR 72-600 015th 00 5 operated by Avianca, 4 by Avianca Guatemala 68 (- / 68)
ATR 42-600 002 00 operated by Isleña Airlines 48 (- / 48)
Boeing 787-8 012 00 First delivery on December 18, 2014 250 (28/222)
Embraer 190 08th 2 operated by Lacsa and 6 by TACA 96 (8/88)
Cessna 208 013 Turboprop feeder aircraft 14th
total 176 88

Former aircraft types

Douglas DC-4

In the past, society flew u. a. also:

Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation


Avianca suffered 44 total aircraft losses from 1946 to September 2019. 965 people were killed. Examples:

  • On January 21, 1960, a Lockheed L-1049E Super Constellation of Avianca ( aircraft registration number HK-177 ) was on the route from New York (USA) to Bogota (Colombia) when the machine crashed during the stopover in Montego Bay (Jamaica) . When touching down very hard on the runway, the landing gear broke, causing the fuselage to hit the ground and the aircraft to burst into flames. Of the 46 inmates, 37 were killed.
  • On September 15, 1964, a Douglas DC-3 / C-47A-80-DL of the Avianca (HK-319) , which was being used on a domestic cargo flight from Condoto to Medellín, crashed while the pilots tried to use the Avianca due to a faulty flight Reverse loading of difficult to control machine to departure airport. The pilots were both killed in the incident (see also Avianca accident at Condoto ) .
  • On September 30, 1975, the crew of a Boeing 727-24C from Avianca, which carried out a cargo flight from Bogotá to Barranquilla , had to initiate a go- around maneuver on the first approach due to poor visibility . On the second approach, the machine brushed treetops a kilometer from the runway, fell to the ground and broke apart. The four crew members died.
  • On March 17, 1988, a Boeing 727-21 of the Avianca (HK-1716) was flown in a climb after taking off from Cúcuta in the mountain El Espartillo, again a Controlled flight into Terrain (CFIT). The trigger for flying an unauthorized shortcut and the lack of orientation were self-generated haste and the presence of an extremely talkative pilot who flew as a passenger in the cockpit. All 136 passengers and 7 crew members were killed (see also Avianca flight 410 ) .
  • On November 27, 1989, a Boeing 727-21 of the Avianca (HK-1803) crashed on the way from Bogota Airport to Cali about 16 kilometers southwest of the starting airport after a bomb explosion. All 107 inmates were killed in the attack on behalf of the drug lord Pablo Escobar . In addition, three other people were killed on the ground by debris (see also Avianca flight 203 ) .
  • On January 25, 1990, an Avianca Boeing 707-300 (HK-2016) crashed near New York City due to a lack of fuel after the aircraft had been put on hold for more than an hour by air traffic control due to bad weather . Of the 158 (including 9 crew) people on board, 73 died (see also Avianca flight 052 ) .

See also


  • Craig West: Avianca at 100. In: Airliner World , December 2019, pp. 88–96
  • Rainer W. During: Avianca celebrates its 100th birthday. In: FliegerRevue , No. 1/2020, pp. 44–48
  • Andreas Nöthen: A new beginning: after 100 years, Avianca is repositioning itself. In: AERO International , No. 5/2020, pp. 16-21

Web links

Commons : Avianca  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. United Airlines forces change of control at Avianca, accessed on May 27, 2019
  2. Avianca en números , accessed May 17, 2019.
  3. "Avianca Airlines Enters Its 100th Year of Uninterrupted Operation", accessed on May 28, 2019 (English).
  4. ^ "1940 - Empleados alemanes de Scadta" Mauricio Umana -, accessed on December 15, 2019 (Spanish).
  5. Avianca Holdings SA website
  6. Avianca-TACA and Copa Airlines join Star Alliance. November 11, 2010, accessed May 12, 2020.
  7. Facts and Figures, accessed on April 20, 2018 (English).
  8. Avianca presenta avión retro por sus 100 años. Nicolás Larenas - September 27, 2019, accessed December 15, 2019 (Spanish).
  9. Asunto: Comunicación Acto Administrativo , Superintendencia de transporte / República de Colombia, accessed on May 14, 2020 (Spanish).
  10. Structure of the Holding Company ,, accessed on May 14, 2020.
  11. Avianca Holdings, United Airlines y Kingsland Holdings acuerdan términos para el préstamo a Avianca Accessed May 14, 2020 (es)
  12. Avianca se acoge a la ley de bancarrota en Estados Unidos por el impacto económico de la pandemia. May 10, 2020, accessed May 12, 2020 (Spanish).
  13. Our destinations, accessed June 16, 2017
  14. "Avianca estrenó el vuelo más largo de la compañía en su historia, durará 12 horas en total", accessed on December 15, 2019 (Spanish).
  15. Air Partners, accessed December 21, 2017
  16. Awards - Featured Acknowledgments, accessed April 19, 2019
  17. Our Fleet, accessed April 19, 2019 (English)
  18. Avianca Secures Turnaround Agreement, Retires Final A318 Accessed January 17, 2020 (English)
  19. Airbus - Orders & Deliveries (English), accessed on October 2, 2017
  20. Boeing - Orders and Deliveries , accessed on October 2, 2017
  21. Colombians on austerity course: Avianca orders from Airbus A320 Neo. In: aeroTELEGRAPH. January 9, 2020, accessed on January 10, 2020 (Swiss Standard German).
  22. - Our Fleet , accessed October 2, 2017
  23. Ch-aviation - Avianca adds maiden A321neo (English), accessed on October 2, 2017
  24. Davies, REG, Airlines of Latin America since 1919, London 1984, pp. 632–634
  25. ^ Ulrich Klee, Frank Bucher et al .: jp airline-fleets international . Zurich Airport 1967–2007.
  26. Fokker 100 Fleet List - Former operators, accessed on March 29, 2019 (English)
  27. Avianca accident statistics , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on October 16, 2019.
  28. ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest 12, Circular 54-AN / 58, Montreal 1963 (English), pp. 111-115.
  29. accident report L-1049E HK-177 , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on 21 December of 2019.
  30. ^ Accident report DC-3 HK-319 , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on July 30, 2020.
  31. ^ Accident report DC-3, HK-319 in ICAO Circular 82-AN / 69, pages 77-80.
  32. accident report B-727-24C, HK 1272 , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on 25 February of 2019.
  33. accident report B-727-21 HK-1716 , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on February 3 of 2019.
  34. ^ Accident report B-727-100 HK-1803 , Aviation Safety Network (English), accessed on February 3, 2019.