Friday, 1 May 2009



The airline of Columbia,  a large network with many service partners and subsidiaries plus a substantial fleet make this a great and popular choice for air travel in the central and south American region.   It's fares are reasonable,  it's service, whilst not extraordinary are acceptable and friendly.  On time record is average for a large airline in Latin America and has a passable safety record.

Our Rating 4 stars.

Reservations  USA  (+1) 800 2 842 622

Tradition, Experience, and Commitment

Thanks to the ingeniousness and adventurous spirit of a group of Germans and Colombians,Sociedad Colombo Alemana de Transporte Aéreo – SCADTA was founded in Barranquilla, Colombia on December 5th, 1919.  It was the first commercial airline founded in Latin America and the second in the world.
The public document formalizing Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia S.A. - Avianca was signed before a public notary in Barranquilla on June 14th, 1940 as a result of the merger of SCADTA, (already in American hands), and Servicio Aéreo Colombiano – SACO.
Since 2004, Avianca has been part of the Brazilian business group Grupo Sinergy that has commercial oil, gas and telecommunications activities in several Latin America countries and in the United States.

Always First

The responsibility that being number one in the continent brings, as well as being one of the most recognized symbols of Colombia throughout the world signifies that for Avianca a commitment to being state-of the-art in technology, products, services, and coverage is indispensible.
And the Company has done just that. The first company flight was a mail run, taking 57 letters from Barranquilla to the nearby town of Puerto Colombia, using a Junker F-13.  It opened the first international routes from Colombia in the mid 1920s.  It has always incorporated the latest cutting-edge aircraft in the aeronautical industry, starting with Boeing 247s and DC 3s in the 1930s, then DC4s and C54s in the 1940s, Constellations and Super Constellations in the 1950s, Boeing 707s and 720s in the 1960s, Jumbo 747s in the 1970s. Later, in the early 1980s, it opened an exclusive modern air terminal to serve its passengers and it started operating a Connection Center in Bogota in 1998.
Year after year Avianca has provided mail, cargo, and passenger air transportation services, overcoming all types of obstacles. The company is constantly innovating and driven by its eagerness to open frontiers, striving to be able to offer the best products and services possible to its customers. Avianca takes full advantage of Colombia’s unique strategic geographical location, making use of the benefits that such a location gives for point-to-point transportation and connections.
Our commitment motivates us to maintain our presence, carrying forward and transporting back safely the dreams and labors of tens, hundreds, and even thousands of citizens. It also allows us to offer a portfolio that satisfies the needs of the market.
  • A trained team dedicated to service excellence
  • Modern sales points strategically located in different cities
  • Fast, simple, reliable processes
  • Technology and innovation for physical facilities, the aircraft, and all travel facilities
  • A broad network of destinations operated through direct flights and through commercial agreements for the five continents with airline operators acknowledged worldwide.
  • Loyalty programs, top-quality on-board service and entertainment, comfortable aircraft, and a modern airport infrastructure.

The airline suffered a few incidents during the 1980s and early 1990s. Many were caused by warring gangs, under the assumption that a member of a rival gang was aboard. 

The deadliest of those incidents was Avianca Flight 203, which was bombed in 1989, following orders from Pablo Escobar to kill presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo. In the aftermath, it was found that Gaviria had not boarded the aircraft. Only one successful bombing has occurred in the airline's history, while most other gang related incidents were related to hijackings or shootings on board. In most hijackings, all passengers and crew members, unaffiliated with the hijacker's cause, were immediately released.

On 26 April 1990, 19th of April Movement presidential candidate Carlos Pizarro was gunned down during a domestic Avianca flight.

Other incidents include:

On 21 January 1960, Avianca Flight 671, a Lockheed L-1049E, crashed and burned on landing at Montego Bay International Airport in Jamaica, killing 37 aboard.

On 15 January 1966, Avianca Flight 4 crashed shortly after takeoff from Cartagena-Crespo. The cause was determined as maintenance problems, possibly compounded by pilot error.

Avianca Flight 011, a Boeing 747-200 that crashed onto a mountain, just short of landing at Barajas Airport in Madrid, in November 1983 had 181 fatalities. The cause was determined to be pilot error.

On 21 May 1970, a Douglas DC-3 of Avianca was hijacked to Yariguíes Airport, Barrancabermeja whilst on a flight from El Alcaraván Airport, Yopal to Alberto Lleras Carmargo Airport, Sogamoso. The hijackers had demanded to be taken to Cuba.

On 29 July 1972, Douglas C-53s HK-107 and HK-1341 were involved in a mid-air collision over the Las Palomas Mountains. Both aircraft crashed, killing 21 people on HK-107 and 17 people on HK-1341. Both aircraft were operating domestic scheduled passenger flights from La Vanguardia Airport, Villavicencio to El Yopal Airport.

On 22 August 1973, Douglas DC-3A HK-111 crashed into a hill near Casanare, Colombia, killing 16 of the 17 people on board. The aircraft was operating a domestic scheduled passenger flight from La Vanguardia Airport, Villavicencio to El Alcaraván Airport, Yopal.

On 12 August 1974, Douglas C-47 HK-508 flew into Trujillo Mountain killing all 27 people on board. The aircraft was on a domestic scheduled passenger flight from El Dorado Airport, Bogotá to La Florida Airport, Tumaco.

On 17 March 1988, Avianca Flight 410, a Boeing 727 domestic flight, crashed into low mountains near Cúcuta - Norte de Santander, Colombia, after take-off, killing all 143 on board. It was determined that pilot error was also the cause of this crash, in a situation similar to that of Avianca Flight 011, five years earlier.

On 25 January 1990, Avianca Flight 52, a Boeing 707-320 jet en route from Bogotá to New York City via Medellín, crashed in the town of Cove Neck, New York, after running out of fuel while in a holding pattern, awaiting landing at New York's Kennedy Airport, killing 73 of the 158 people aboard. There was much controversy surrounding this crash.

Avianca current fleet
AircraftIn FleetOrdersPassengersNotes
Airbus A318641288100Ex Mexicana aircrafts leased from GECAS from 2011–2018, delivered from January 2011
Replacing Fokker 100. Equipped Overhead Video.
Airbus A319611121081203 operating for Avianca Brazil Equipped with AVOD
14 rolling options.
Airbus A320-200201312138150equipped with AVOD. Replacing Fokker 100 and MD-83 aircraft.
16 rolling options.
Airbus A330-2006430222252equipped with AVOD. Replacing Boeing 767 aircraft.
15 rolling options.
Airbus A350-80010

first delivery scheduled for 2015.
10 rolling options.
South American Launch customer
Boeing 767-300ER124188212equipped with overhead TV.
Replaced by Airbus A330/Boeing 787 aircraft.
Boeing 787-812

first delivery scheduled for 2012
8 rolling options. Replacing Boeing 767 aircraft
South American Launch customer
Fokker 5095252
Fokker 100138899716 more operating for Avianca Brazil
world's largest operator of this aircraft type
All to be retired from June 2011
Replaced by Airbus A318 and Airbus A320 aircraft.
Avianca Cargo Fleet
Boeing 767-300ERF4

Cargo (operated by Tampa Cargo)

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