Avianca Expands Network From Central America

Star Alliance member Avianca is adding long-haul service from San Salvador and further increasing its U.S. network.

Credit: Joe Pries

Avianca is growing its network in Central America with two new routes from San Salvador, including a first long-haul service from El Salvador's capital.

The Colombian flag-carrier has scheduled the launch of a new seasonal route to Madrid, as well as nonstop flights to Las Vegas. The two destinations will add to the 17 points the airline already serves from El Salvador International Airport (SAL).

The Madrid route, covering 8,660 km (4,676 nm), is scheduled to begin on June 20, operating three times a week on a seasonal basis with a 280-seater Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

This will become Avianca's only nonstop route from Central America to Europe and SAL's second connection to the continent, with Iberia currently flying a daily Madrid-Guatemala City-San Salvador route with A330-200s. However, the frequency of flights is set to reduce to 6X-weekly from early May, according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

Sabre Market Intelligence figures show that the O&D traffic between El Salvador and Europe totaled approximately 157,000 two-way passengers in 2019, with San Salvador-Madrid being the largest city pair accounting for around 38% of the traffic.

Alongside the Madrid expansion, Avianca intends to further grow its U.S. network from SAL with a direct service to Las Vegas. Flights to Harry Reid International Airport are scheduled to commence on July 15, operating three times per week using A320 aircraft.

According to U.S. Transportation Department passenger data, Avianca will be the first airline to offer a nonstop connection between San Salvador and Las Vegas.

The Star Alliance member already serves eight airports in the U.S. from San Salvador, flying to Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston George Bush, Los Angeles, Miami, New York John F Kennedy, Ontario, San Francisco and Washington Dulles. In March, the airline also announced plans to launch a route to Boston three times a week from June 1 and to Orlando four times a week from June 11.

“The Latino community is one of the most important in the United States, so we want to provide the best options to connect with the region,” Avianca sales director for North America, Central America and the Caribbean Rolando Damas says. “In addition, we know that the Central American region is increasingly positioning itself as an attractive tourist destination for U.S. travelers.”

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