Amid the crisis caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), which has the world’s airlines “in check”, Viva Air seems to see more opportunities than threats. Its executive director, Félix Antelo, has commented to different media that the structure of the airline and its model of operation is very convenient in view of the changes that the current pandemic will bring to the airline industry. The low-cost airline based in Colombia and Peru is preparing for the moment when the crisis begins to subside.
Viva Air announced that they have not canceled any of the orders they have for new aircraft. The low-cost airline is renovating and expanding its fleet with Airbus A320neo, so they will complete 50 units in the coming years. Furthermore, the company has not been forced to make mass layoffs, despite the fact that 70% of its 800 employees are currently taking voluntary leave.
While the oldest airline on the continent – Avianca – has filed for bankruptcy, Viva Air has barely asked the Colombian government for $ 60 million as a loan and insists that they do not need a ransom. As Antelo commented -in an interview for Finance Colombia- , the airline gave a good balance in the first months of 2020, which allowed it to enter the crisis in a good position. In addition, the company’s cost control and economic model make it feasible for it to stay afloat, even without much government help.