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IconFebruary 14th, 2023
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Avianca’s new ‘Low-Cost’ feature brings it closer to becoming an LCC

Avianca is busy introducing new features which are making the company appear more like a low-cost airline than a legacy carrier, moving away from the former business model it operated before the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chapter 11 process. As of December 1, Avianca will offer more than 40 in-flight sales options.

New in-flight sales program from Avianca

A new in-flight sales program has been launched by Avianca on most of its domestic and international routes. Starting December 1, the program will offer drinks, snacks, combos, and other products. Avianca’s Director of Customer Experience and Onboard Service, Paula Ayala, said, After listening to our customers and tailoring our products to meet the evolving needs of our industry, we’re proud to announce the launch of our onboard sales menu. This service is for travelers who want to continue to be able to choose what they want and where they get different options for snacks, beverages, and some other items. You’ll find our menu on all domestic Colombia and Ecuador flights as well as international ones within the Americas. The European flights will remain the same as before, while service on the Bogotá-Los Angeles-Bogotá route will also stay the same. During the second phase of the program, Avianca will offer local entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell their products on board its flights in Colombia, El Salvador, and Ecuador. As part of this second stage, Avianca will also introduce new payment methods (currently, they accept only debit and credit cards branded by Visa and MasterCard), as well as bringing in a team of ‘gastronomy experts’ to develop new products.

Other Avianca low-cost features?

After Chapter-11, Avianca introduced new seats, densified its narrowbody fleet, and launched four travel schemes, which allowed passengers to pay for only what they needed. As announced last year, Avianca is redesigning its narrowbody aircraft cabins. In this year’s transition between cabins, Avianca introduced new seats designed by Recaro, which allowed the airline to offer 20% more capacity at lower prices and a 13% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger. Four new travel schemes, XS, S, M and L, were introduced in June 2022. Avianca’s airlines brand the different levels differently but they all offer various items of service. For example, people who need just a personal item and check-in on Avianca’s website or app are considered to be in the lowest scheme. Those who need a personal item plus an additional 10 kgs for carry-on baggage and 23 kgs for a holdbag can recognize themselves as being at the middle scheme level- M. All these privileges are included in Avianca’s top-tier, or L, cardholder which includes complimentary legroom seats and emergency exit seats which may not be available to those in lower tiers of service. Additionally, Avianca has been focusing more on Latin American routes rather than long-haul widebodies, increasing its need for narrowbody jets in the future.

Is Avianca becoming a low-cost carrier?

Avianca has adapted its business model to the new post-pandemic times, merging with truly ultra-low-cost competitors like Viva Colombia and Viva Peru since emerging from Chapter 11. The CEO of Avianca, Adrián Neuhauser, said last week that Viva developed and promoted Colombia’s low-cost model when addressing the issue of Colombia’s approval of the merger. Avianca’s pioneering efforts have led to lower prices and democratization of air operations in the country, which has led to the airline having to change as well. According to him, Avianca’s changes today reflect the great reaction the market has shown to the product offered by Viva.

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