Avianca and Viva request their integration with the Civil Aeronautics of Colombia
With the objective of safeguarding connectivity, protecting the air transport service offer and rescuing the pioneer company in the low-cost world in Colombia:
Last April, the majority shareholders of Avianca and Viva signed an agreement to become part of the same business group, unifying economic rights. In this process, 100% of Viva's economic rights in Colombia and Peru were acquired, without this implying control or administration.
Subsequently, the shareholders of Avianca and Gol announced the creation of the Abra Group, which will be one of the leaders in air transportation in Latin America and will group the investment made in Viva and the convertible loan in a minority position in Sky Airline of Chile.
Recently, Avianca and its shareholders have learned that Viva is going through a complex financial situation that requires immediate intervention.
As Avianca has a solid financial position and lower debt, it has requested the Civil Aeronautics Authority to approve the integration with Viva under the legal figure of "company in crisis", which would allow the eventual rescue of the low-cost company."
Bogota, August 8, 2022. Last April, Avianca's majority shareholders signed an agreement to become part of the same business group, unifying economic rights. In turn, they acquired 100% of the economic rights of Viva in Colombia and Peru, without this implying control or management. A month later, following Avianca's agreement with Gol, the creation of Grupo Abra was announced, which would be one of the leaders in air transportation in Latin America and would group the investments made in the economic rights of Viva and a loan convertible into a minority position in Sky Airline.
Today, and in view of the information available in the market regarding the delicate financial situation that Viva is going through, this company and Avianca requested authorization from the Colombian Civil Aeronautics Authority to integrate, in order to make the permanence of the low-cost airline viable for the benefit of passengers, connectivity in Colombia and Peru, as well as to safeguard jobs that directly and indirectly depend on Viva.
Given the relevance and urgency of this integration request for the country's competitiveness and air connectivity, Avianca has held conversations in recent days with representatives of the new government, explaining the reasons for this request, which was formalized once the new government took office.
It is important to point out that market conditions (jet fuel prices, inflation and the appreciation of the dollar) have forced this request to the Aerocivil to be accelerated and become of the utmost urgency, since in the first quarter of the year, when the operation was negotiated between Avianca and Viva shareholders, the financial situation of the low-cost company was different and Viva estimated that it had the necessary finances to compete normally.
In this regard, Adrian Neuhauser, President and CEO of Avianca said: "The integration request with Viva seeks to fight for its survival in the market, as well as to maintain the competitiveness it has built during 10 years of operation." Even with the complex outlook that aviation is experiencing in the world due to rising fuel prices, as well as the historical inflation in the region, Avianca has a solid financial position, evident in the recent announcements, which would allow it to achieve synergies and take advantage of economies of scale with Viva, provide financial support and participate in its management. We trust that the Aeronautical Authority will be able to study this request quickly, given its relevance for the country.”
With the integration, Viva would also become part of one of the most relevant Latin American airline groups and efficiencies and synergies would materialize that could benefit the rescue of the low-cost pioneer in Colombia. In addition, this strong new airline group will allow for a more efficient cost structure, a route network that promotes direct connectivity between destinations, a strong loyalty program, and a friendly and efficient service that meets the needs of today's traveler.
During this integration request process, Avianca's flight offerings, service, operational discipline and other processes will continue as normal. Likewise, the way in which suppliers, employees and entities relate to Avianca will remain the same, maintaining the company's own sales and communication channels, as they are known today.
The company will share the progress of this request once it receives information from the Authority.