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- Lan Airlines S.A.
Americo Vespucio 901, Renca
- Main hub
- Bogota El Dorado International Airport
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Airline Group
- Part of LATAM Airlines Group S.A.
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
LAN Colombia (previously Aires) is a Colombian airline based in Bogota, with additional bases in Barranquilla and Medellin. LAN Colombia has experienced strong growth in recent years, capturing a larger share of the growing domestic market and expanding into international markets across South, Central and North America. It began operating under the brand LAN Colombia as of 3-Dec-2011.
Location of LAN Colombia main hub (Bogota El Dorado International Airport)
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23 total articles
Colombia’s aviation market appears relatively stable despite the steady growth of the country’s low-cost airline VivaColombia through the establishment of a base in Bogota during 2014 in its quest to attain a 20% market share within Colombia.
For the first three months of 2014, VivaColombia’s domestic market share grew to approximately 10% from 8% the year prior. The country’s other domestic airlines also kept their respective shares at essentially the same levels year-on-year, which shows that the supply and demand balance is fairly rational.
The number of Colombia’s international passengers also grew at a solid clip, reflecting the country’s overall stability, decent economic prospects and a growing middle class that remains attractive to all airlines serving Colombia.
Avianca’s strength in Colombia and Peru, two of Latin America’s fast growing markets, helped the carrier record strong financial results for 4Q2013 and FY2013.
The company also achieved other significant achievements in 2013 including rebranding all the carriers within the Avianca-TACA group to Avianca and the completion of a listing on the New York Stock Exchange to broaden its reach for funding for expansion.
A continued fleet renewal and long-haul growth is driving Avianca’s planned 8% to 9% capacity growth during 2014 as the carrier readies for the launch of new service from Bogota to London in Jul-2014. Given Avianca’s strong performance during 2013, it should be able to absorb the capacity increase without hurting its profits.
Oneworld has increased its presence in Colombia, Latin America’s third largest market, with LAN Colombia formally joining as an affiliate member on 1-Oct-2013. LAN Colombia is the second largest domestic carrier in Colombia after Star Alliance member Avianca and has a small but growing international operation.
Colombia is an important growth market but the impact of adding a Brazilian member is much more significant. Oneworld has set a 31-Mar-2014 ascension date for Brazil’s largest carrier TAM, which is now part of the LATAM Airlines Group along with LAN Colombia and four other LAN-branded carriers that are already oneworld members.
With LAN Colombia and subsequently TAM, oneworld will become the largest alliance in Latin America with a projected 27% share of seat capacity. Star will still have a respectable 16% share, which could grow to about 18% based on probable new members, and will remain the dominant alliance in Colombia.
Growth in Colombia’s domestic market continued full steam ahead during the first five months of 2013 as the country's passenger growth jumped 21% to roughly 8.5 million. This follows already strong 15% growth in domestic traffic during 2012, when the country's airlines transported close to 19 million domestic passengers.
The expansion reflects Colombia’s stature as one of the fastest growing domestic markets in the world, fuelled by solid economic growth, a rising middle class and pent-up demand and opportunities for penetration by low-cost carriers. Presently, VivaColombia is the only carrier operating under a low-cost business model in the country. While it does operate on some of Colombia’s trunk routes, VivaColombia is designing its network around a point-to-point framework to bypass the country’s busier and more congested airports, namely Bogota.
Colombia’s domestic market has undergone a subtle transformation during the last few years as LAN, which is now part of LATAM Airlines Group, purchased low-cost carrier Aires, overhauled its operations, adopted the full-service model and rebranded the carrier as LAN Colombia to solidify a presence in the increasingly important Colombian market. Copa Colombia (formerly Aerorepublica) opted to shift its focus to international operations while VivaColombia introduced service with the goal of replicating the low-cost business model its sister carrier VivaAerobus has forged in Mexico.
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.