With an operating revenue of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars and more than 140 aircraft in service in 2020, Avianca is one of the largest airlines in Latin America. On a global scale, it also ranks as the second-oldest air carrier still in operation, only after KLM based in the Netherlands. The history of the company dates to 1919 when Colombian and German investors founded the Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transportes Aéreos (SCADTA). The newly founded airline initially covered the route Barranquilla-Puerto Berrío: a flight from Colombia’s Caribbean coast to the center of the country. After merging with another regional airline in 1940, the company took its current name, an acronym of Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia.
Avianca’s performance on its major market
Avianca Holdings S.A. is currently based in Panama with subsidiaries in several Latin American countries. Colombia, however, remains its largest market. In 2020, more than one-third of the company’s revenue and over 70 percent of its employees were in the country alone. That same year, Avianca accounted for over 45 percent of the domestic passenger traffic in Colombia, which more than doubles the share of its major competitor LATAM Airlines.
Contrary to the cargo and passenger traffic, the number of Avianca frequent travelers continued the steady growth recorded in recent years. The loyalty program by the name LifeMiles was first introduced in 2011 and has become nowadays one of the most popular airline loyalty programs in Latin America. In the period between January 2015 and May 2021, LifeMiles was the third most downloaded app among Latin American frequent flyer program apps. As a Star Alliance member, the largest airline alliance worldwide, LifeMiles members also benefit from partner airlines’ awards and discounts.
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