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- Av Calle 26 No 59-15 Piso 6
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- Bogota El Dorado International Airport
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Avianca is the national airline of Colombia and is based at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá. Wholly owned by Holdco Holding Ltd, a subsidiary of the German Efromovich-led Synergy Group, Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia, operating an extensive network within South, Central and North America and service to Madrid and Barcelona in Europe. Avianca is a major player in South American aviation with a growing number of regional subsidiaries across various industry segments in South and Central America.
In Oct-2009, it was announced that TACA Group and Avianca reached an agreement to merge and create a holding company with the aim of creating Latin America’s leading aviation group. The two airlines will continue to operate as separate companies, maintaining the same reporting lines within each organisation. Synergy Group, the parent company of Avianca, is to take a 66.66% equity stake in the holding company, while Grupo TACA will take a 33.33% equity stake.
Location of AVIANCA main hub (Bogota El Dorado International Airport)
437 total articles
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Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol recorded mixed fortunes during 1Q2013 as its overall losses widened year-over-year but yields and unit revenues improved at what appears to be at the expense of load factor. After recording annual losses for the last two years Gol is hoping an aggressive capacity reduction in the Brazilian domestic market place and a significant reduction in its workforce will help the carrier slowly improve its fortunes.
But Gol faces challenges in achieving its turnaround as company management believes it is uncertain that Brazil will record 2.5% GDP growth in 2013 while inflation is rising. The carrier feels positive about its position heading into the slow season in South America, but the timing of a full recovery for the carrier seems far from uncertain.
Gol pledges a financial turnaround as it records a second consecutive annual loss, of USD745 million
Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol was unable to turn its fortunes positive in 2012 and actually widened its loss for the year. Despite its attempts to combat the cooling Brazilian domestic market through marked capacity cuts and turning some of its attention to international services, Gol recorded a BRL447 million (USD222 million) loss for 4Q2012 and a BRL1.5 billion (USD745 million) negative result for the full year.
Gol believes the changes it has made with respect to its domestic supply and various cost-containment schemes should produce a positive operating result for 1Q2013. But the carrier made similar pronouncements during 2012 as it recorded four quarters of unprofitability, so the pressure is mounting on management to put some grit behind a pledged turnaround.
Unlike its major rival TAM, which is now part of the powerful LATAM Airlines Group, Gol does not have the benefit of large network to help it diversify from areas of weakness to more robust regions. Both Gol and TAM during 2012 had to combat softening demand that resulted from Brazil’s slowing economy. During 2012 GDP growth in Brazil was revised down to 2% from 4%, and during 2013 Gol is projecting growth of 2.5% to a maximum of 3%. This compares to GDP growth of approximately 7.5% growth in Brazil during 2010.
Colombia recorded 15% growth in domestic passenger traffic in 2012 and should see more double-digit growth in 2013 driven partially by expansion at low-cost start-up VivaColombia. The Colombian international market also grew by 13% in 2012 and should see more rapid growth in 2013 driven partially by expansion at LAN Colombia.
Colombia’s strong economy and growing middle class population provide favourable market conditions. The rise in Colombia’s LCC penetration rate, which has always been significantly lower than Latin America’s other two major markets, is also stimulating demand as VivaAerobus brings low fares to more domestic routes. But competition in Colombia is intense, making it difficult to achieve profitability in the domestic market.
Avianca-TACA will come full circle during 2H2013 as its various airlines unify under the Avianca brand more than three years after the Avianca-TACA merger kickstarted consolidation in Latin America and drove the decision by LAN and TAM to form what is now the region’s powerhouse LATAM Airlines Group. During 2013 the competition between the two largest airline groups in Latin American will only intensify in the markets where they already compete fiercely – Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
With Avianca-TACA completing its merger more than two years ahead of LATAM, Avianca-TACA has the benefit of harvesting a combined network whereas LATAM is just beginning to ferret out the benefits of its newly combined network resources.
In addition to continued competitive pressure from LATAM during 2013 Avianca-TACA will also encounter some new competition on international flights from Ecuador and some pressure from startup VivaColombia in its largest market Colombia. At the same time Avianca-TACA continues to battle infrastructure constraints at its largest hub Bogota, which could result in further expansion at its Lima and San Salvador hubs.
LATAM Airlines Group announced on 07-Mar-2013 that its TAM, TAM Paraguay and LAN Colombia subsidiaries would join its sister carriers in oneworld, confirming moves which had been considered a foregone conclusion for 18 months. The Star Alliance now faces the risk of not having a member in Brazil, one of the world’s most important growth markets, after TAM shifts from Star to oneworld in 2Q2014. But the void will not last long as Brazil’s fourth largest carrier, Avianca Brazil, will almost certainly join its sister carriers in Star, potentially by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol continues to be wooed by SkyTeam. With TAM moving to oneworld and Avianca Brazil expected to join Star, the stakes mount for SkyTeam while the benefit of maintaining independence for Gol diminishes.
Panama-based Copa continues to outperform nearly every airline group in the world, recording an operating profit margin of 17.9% for 2012 as profits increased by 5% to USD327 million. Copa has been consistently highly profitable since its 2005 initial public offering, with annual operating margins every year of at least 17%. During this period the average operating profit margin in the global airline industry has been in the zero to 4% range.
Copa, which has more than tripled its annual RPKs since 2005, expects more double-digit growth and industry leading profitability in 2013. Panama has the fastest growing economy in Latin America and the region overall continues to have healthy GDP growth, fuelling demand for travel within the region. Copa is well positioned to cash in on the continued rapid growth in international travel within Latin America as Panama City is the largest intra-Latin America hub and, unlike most other airports in the region, is committed to expanding the infrastructure to keep up with Copa’s rapid growth trajectory.
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