Avianca boosts US presence with new Bogotá - Boston link

Colombian flag carrier Avianca will launch the only scheduled non-stop link between South America and Boston's Logan International Airport when it inaugurates a new four times weekly link from its El Dorado International Airport hub in Bogotá from the start of June 2017.

Colombian carrier Avianca is to further expand its activities in the United States of America with the launch of a new regular link to Boston. The flight linking El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá with Boston’s Logan International Airport will be the 35th international destination to be served non-stop by Avianca from its main hub and only scheduled link between Colombia and the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and New England.

Avianca will offer a four times weekly schedule between Bogotá and Boston from June 2, 2017, using an Airbus A319 configured with 12 business and 108 economy seats. At a distance of just under 4,200km and a block time of between 6 hour 15 minutes and 6 hours 30 minutes, it will be among the longest-routes to be served by the carrier using the single-aisle airliner.

The type will also used on Avianca’s new flights from Bogotá to Montevideo in Uruguay that commence in May 2017 and currently used to Santiago in Chile, while the longest northbound flight with the aircraft is currently into New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, a distance of just under 4,000km and a flight time of just over 5 hours 45 minutes. The A319 was also used by Avianca between Bogotá and Rio de Janeiro and Sau Paulo in Brazil, but the type stopped serving the routes from March 2017 and July 2016 respectively and substituted by larger A330 widebodied airliners.

The Colombian national carrier has been looking at the Boston market for a number of years and first secured rights to serve the market a couple of years ago. Alongside supporting the estimated annual O&D flows of 22,700 passengers, or 31 PPDEW (passengers per day each way) in 2016, the flight will deliver a new alternative option for passengers between Boston and South America, thanks to Avianca’s strong onward flows across the region.

This market is mainly served in and out of Boston by American Airlines, according to data from the AirVision Market Intelligence tool from Sabre Airline Solutions. An estimated 475 PPDEW flew between Boston and points across South America in 2016 with Bogotá the third largest origin market after the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Other notable markets comprise Medellin in Colombia, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile.

As first revealed by our Airlineroute schedule stream late last year, Avianca will be further boosting its activities into the US market this summer through a frequency growth in the Bogotá – Los Angeles market, increasing flights from four a week to a daily schedule.  This route is served using the airline’s new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners offering 28 business and 222 economy seats. This flight is also being rescheduled to operate overnight from Los Angeles, arriving back in the Colombian capital around midday.

Over the last year Avianca has worked to better optimise its fleet and network, which together with cost control initiatives helped to generate important operational efficiencies. Full calendar year results show that costs per available seat kilometre (CASKs) excluding fuel, decreased 5.6 per cent to 6.4 cents in 2016, while total CASKs reduced 10.7 per cent to 8.0 cents. This was despite of a 7.1 per cent rise in fuel prices, as well as a 25.8 per cent increment in depreciations and amortisations and 17.4 per cent in air traffic expenses, according to company financials.

The focus on its network did not impede growth though and Avianca inaugurated a direct flight between Bogota and Cusco, Peru in 2016 and increased frequencies to Buenos Aires, Santiago, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sao Paulo and into Europe via Madrid, Spain. It also boosted its network through new codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways, Silver Airways, EVA Air and TAME.