Brazilian airline Avianca Brazil, operating passenger flights to 25 destinations from the airports of Brasilia and São Paulo-Guarulhos was forced to cancel around 2,000 flights between 19 and 28 April (*) after “a serious reduction of its fleet“. Last week, two lessors decided to repossess 18 aircraft: GECAS (8) and Aircastle Limited (10). Only seven aircraft remain in the fleet.
On 10 December, Avianca Brazil filed for bankruptcy protection; R$100 million ($26 million) are owed to airports and bank debt grew by 50% in 2018, while United Airlines extended a loan of $456 million to Avianca owner Synergy Group. Total debts amount to 493 million reais ($127 million), whereas the first half of 2018 generated 175.6 million reais of losses. On April 18, 2019 Azul cancelled its offer to buy Avianca. (source: wikipedia Avianca Brazil)
On the official website, the airline informs that “due to a “possible reduction of its fleet” and in order to minimize the impact on its operation and its passengers, it has decided to make “occasional” cancellations of flights.”
(*) Flight cancellations continue
Occasionally? Not quite, as the airline continues to cancel numerous flights: around 2,000 cancelled flights at least until 28 April and that’s massive. Avianca Brazil, however, announced that it is taking all necessary measures to maintain the normality of its operations:
- if your flight is not on the list, stay calm. No action is required and your flight will be kept as scheduled. To avoid inconvenience, we request that you arrive at the airport of departure with 4 hours in advance, so that the check-in and boarding is organized as peacefully as possible.
- If your flight is on the list and you have purchased your ticket through Avianca Brazil’s website, application, call center or stores, you can request a refund at: www.avianca.com.br/reembolso. On the form, select the reason “Flight cancellation generated by Avianca“
- If your flight is on the list and you have purchased your ticket through an agency or travel site, you should contact these companies directly.
Repossessed aircraft already found new operator
Meanwhile, Aircastle Limited announced that the ten A320-200 aircraft previously operated by Avianca Brazil are now transitioning to committed long-term leases with a major international carrier. Mike Inglese, Aircastle’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are pleased to have reached an important milestone in the transition of these aircraft to a new global operator. In line with our expectations that these highly in-demand modern aircraft would be quickly placed, we now anticipate that these aircraft will return to service on their new leases during the current quarter.“