Avianca Brazil, owned by the same entity as main Avianca based in Colombia, is in the verge of final collapse as planes are being repossessed and slots auctioned. Airports in Brazil have started to require the airline to pay fees in advance.
Brazilian media is reporting that the airline will fly from only four airports Santos Dumont (SDU), Congonhas (CGH), Brasilia (BSB) and Salvador da Bahia (SSA) starting Monday using seven aircraft that it has left. Avianca Brazil operated at close to 30 airports using 50 aircraft as recently as the end of 2018.
Avianca’s slots at airports are being auctioned to pay debt. Azul, GOL and LATAM are the potential bidders. Azul has shown interest in leasing 30 Avianca’s A320 aircraft.
It seems that this might be the end of the Oceanair (Avianca Brazil’s legal name) that I have flown several times over the years before (when they used the official name) and after it transformed to Avianca Brazil most recently last month.
I have never quite understood the flight pricing within Brazi (and South America in general) that has probably the highest ever day to day fluctuation that I have ever come across. The flights can be very inexpensive today to become ridiculously expensive tomorrow.
The disappearance of Avianca Brazil doesn’t bode well for the competition. LATAM and Gol are the major players and Azul has been slowly able to get their market share close to 20%. If most Avianca’s assets would end up with Azul, there would be roughly three players of equal size. More players = more competition.
Avianca itself isn’t in the best shape either and the Argentinean arm is in financial distress. Interesting to see what will happen to them.