Colombia’s national airline, Avianca, announced announced plans Wednesday to renew its fleet with 15 new aircraft at a cost of US$700 million dollars each. The new ATR72-600’s will be in service by Jun 2013.
The airline, based in Bogota, changed its name to AviancaTaca after purchasing TACA airlines, but will soon go back to simple Avianca, says the new planes that replace the existing will be used on flights in Colombia and Central America
The new aircraft, capable of carrying up to 72 passengers, are to be purchased in a bid to make the airlines short-haul flights more efficient.
Avianca is one of the largest and fastest growing aviation groups in Latin America. It currently operates a combined fleet of more than 150 aircraft, the second largest fleet in Latin America. The group serves more than 100 destinations in Latin America, US, Canada, Caribbean region and Europe, and has 4 major hubs in Bogota, San Salvador, Lima and San José, Costa Rica.
With the introduction of their fleet of 15 brand new 70-seat ATR 72-600, Aviancaa will progressively replace their Fokker 50s and ATR 42s currently in operation. Avianca will fly the new ATR 72-600s to destinations like Barrancabermeja, Florencia, Manizales, Neiva, Pasto, Popayán, Tumaco and Yopal, in Colombia.
Under the name Taca the airline will fly the aircraft to Guatemala city and Flores (Guatemala), Tegucigalpa, Roatán and San Pedro Sula (Honduras), San Salvador (El Salvador), Managua (Nicaragua), and San José and Liberia (Costa Rica). The ATR 72-600s will also provide passengers with stylish cabin interior designs and the most modern standards of comfort.
Commenting on the deal, Mr. Fabio Villegas Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer of AviancaTaca, declared: “With the introduction of these new 72-seat ATR 72-600s, we reemphasize our commitment to the connectivity within the regions in Colombia and Central America. The selected aircraft will enable us to increase our capacity in regional routes, further enhance our network and propose the highest standards of comfort to our passengers”.
Mr. Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “This is indeed a major contract for ATR as we are signing with a well-reputed and leading-edge air transportation provider in the Americas. We are proud to be a part of the expansion of Avianca. At the same time, we are pleased of renewing a longstanding relationship that dates back over 15 years with TACA Regional, and to further increase the presence of the new ATR 72-600s in the whole of Latin America. Our aircraft have experienced an outstanding success in this region in recent years due to their flexibility and low operating costs”.
ATR has some 150 aircraft currently flying with Latin American airlines’ liveries, plus some 50 additional aircraft to be delivered in the region. ATR is experiencing an outstanding success in Latin America. This success highlights the suitability of the ATR aircraft for the regional operations in a very dynamic market with still strong untapped potential.