Avianca S.A. is the flag carrier airline of Colombia since December 5, 1919 when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in BogotÃ¡, D.C. with its hub at the El Dorado International Airport. Its focus cities are: MedellÃn, Santiago de Cali, Cartagena de Indias and Barranquilla, as well as Miami, where Avianca is the largest foreign carrier by number of passengers. Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia and a major one in Latin America: Avianca together with its subsidiaries has the most extended network of (both passenger and cargo) destinations in the Americas and one of the largest and most modern aircraft fleet in the continent. It is wholly owned by AviancaTACA S.A., a Latin American holding company established in the PanamÃ¡ and specialized in air transport. The company is listed in the Colombia Stock Exchange. Since April 26, 2010, OceanAir is being rebranded Avianca in the same way as it was done with SAM years ago and it would do with other subsidiaries (for example, VIP is partially rebranded) to place Avianca as the leading airline in Latin America.
By a group of Germans and Colombians, Sociedad Colombo Alemana de Transporte AÃ©reo â€“ SCADTA was founded in Barranquilla, Colombia on December 5th, 1919.Â It was the first commercial airline founded in Latin America and the second in the world. The company accomplished its first flight between Barranquilla and the nearby town of Puerto Colombia, aboard a Junkers F.13. Peter Von Bauer, a German scientist and philanthropist, started to become interested in SCADTA. Sharing the same vision as the founders he contributed knowledge, funds, and another plane to the company. He also obtained a concession from the Colombian Government for SCADTA to transport Colombiaâ€™s airmail. This new contract allowed SCADTA to thrive in a new frontier of aviation. By the mid-1920s, SCADTA, having overcome many obstacles, inaugurated its first international routes that initially covered destinations in Venezuela and the United States. Regretfully, in 1924, the aircraft that both Ernesto Cortissoz and Helmuth von Krohn were piloting, crashed into an area currently known as Bocas de Ceniza in Barranquilla, causing their deaths. Despite this tragedy, the airline continued to thrive under the guidance of German Peter von Bauer until the early 1940s, where circumstances related to the outbreak of World War II forced him to sell his shares in the airline to the US-owned Pan American World Airways.
On 14 June 1940, in the city of Barranquilla, SCADTA, under ownership by United States businessmen, merged with Colombian Air Carrier SACO, forming the new AerovÃas Nacionales de Colombia S.A. or Avianca. 1976 was an important one for Avianca, becoming the first Latin American airline to continuously operate a Boeing 747. In 1994, a strategic alliance was established to merge three of the most important enterprises of the aeronautical sector of Colombia: Avianca, the regional carrier SAM and the helicopter operator Helicol, which brought life to Avianca"s new system of operations. In 2002, Avianca, the regional carrier SAM Colombia and its major rival ACES Colombia, joined efforts to create Alianza Summa, which began merged operations on 20 May 2002. However, adverse circumstances within the industry and markets, forced the alliance to disband and airline shareholders decided to initiate the liquidation of Alianza Summa in November 2003, to focus in strengthening the Avianca trademark.
On 10 December 2004, Avianca concluded one of the most important and ambitious reorganization processes, undertaken after filing for "Chapter 11" bankruptcy protection, by obtaining confirmation of its reorganization plan, which was financially backed by the Brazilian consortium, OceanAir/Synergy Group and the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, allowing the airline to obtain funds for US$63 million dollars, in the 13 months following withdrawal from C-11.
The merger of Colombia"s Avianca and Salvadoran-based TACA is the latest sign that consolidation in the Latin American airline sector is picking up. The newly formed Holdco - which will be controlled jointly by Avianca and TACA - instantly becomes one of the region"s largest airlines after Brazil"s TAM and GOL, with 129 aircraft and flights to more than 100 destinations. On November 10, 2010, Star Alliance announced Avianca (and its subsidiary, TACA) to become full member in mid-2012.
Aviance serves the following flights to these international destinations in North America, Central America, Caribbean, South America and Europe: USA, Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, Caracao, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Spain. Domestic routes include: Armenia, Barrancabermeja, Barranquilla, Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Cucuta, Ibague, Manizales, Medellin, Monteria, Neiva, Pasto, Pereira, Popayan, Riohacha, San Andres, Santa Marta, Tumaco and Valledupar.
Avianca fleet consists of the following aircrafts: 10 Airbus A318-100, 10 Airbus A319-100, 24 Airbus A320-200, 7 Airbus A330-200 and 10 Fokker 50.