Key Milestones in Latin American Aviation for 2023

Bogotá.- During 2023, the airline industry in the region experienced important news that reconfigured the market, one of the most dynamic in the world, and energized the sector by strengthening the connectivity of Latin America.

In , we recount the main topics that were trending in Latin American aviation this year.

Arajet: a great year for the airline and the country

The Dominican low cost company closed a year marked by growth and brand strengthening thanks to its expansion strategies.

In this sense, the company transported more than half a million passengers during the year and reached a fleet of 9 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft that allowed it to continue promoting connectivity in the Dominican Republic and the entire continent through the Hub. from Santo Domingo.

This growth had a direct impact on the country's economy and thanks to its strategic position, the company not only became a vital ally for tourism, but also for national development.

During the year, through taxes on passengers, Arajet's contribution was 855 million, while through airport taxes the figure exceeded 595 million, through ITBIS which reached 275 million and taxes related to salaries of employees and other taxes amounted to more than 370 million pesos.

“And this is only accounting for the direct contributions of Arajet, since, if we calculate the indirect contributions through the consumption made by the transported tourists and other indirect expenses of indirect jobs and induced consumption, we are talking about an impact greater than 21 billion only in 2023,” Víctor Pacheco Mendéz, CEO and founder of Arajet, commented at the time.

Finally, the company indicated that in 2024 they hope to have a 3 times greater impact on the economy, transporting more than 1.5 million passengers.

had leave behind your “A”

had said goodbye to the capital A in its name and welcomed the lowercase 'a' as a symbol of a company that, preserving the best of its legacy and offering what the modern world demands, was no longer for the few and now it's for everyone.

This new rebranding of the airline involved extensive work where several strategic projects were implemented to make the company more efficient, competitive and sustainable.

Among the milestones that the company presented in this framework, the following stand out:

  • 20% more capacity in the A320 fleet with 180 seats
  • 39 million chairs available in 24 countries.
  • 32.5 million passengers flying during 2023
The airline will have a new CEO as of January 1, 2024The airline will have a new CEO as of January 1, 2024
The airline will have a new CEO as of January 1, 2024

Likewise, the company recently announced the investment of US$473 million in its global operation that will allow it to increase its capacity by 24% throughout its network and also strengthen and return connectivity to cities and regions that lost it due to the crisis of the sector in Colombia.

Regarding corporate governance, starting in January, Adrian Neuhauser will be the new CEO of the Abra Group, and will continue to accompany the growth of Avianca as Executive Vice-Chairman of its board of directors. In turn, Frederico Pedreira will assume the leadership of the airline as CEO and President.

Viva Air suspends operations

On February 27, the Colombian low cost Viva announced the suspension of all of its operations since, according to the company, the delays in its integration process with Avianca made maintaining its operation unfeasible given the financial crisis it was going through.

It should be remembered that the Civil Aeronautics of Colombia did not accept the conditions that the airlines had proposed for said integration and issued an authorization for the operation but with a series of conditions that Avianca did not accept.

For this reason, the airline was forced to suddenly cease operations, leaving thousands of passengers and the company's own collaborators in suspense.

This suspension of operations caused an unprecedented crisis in aviation in Colombia in recent decades. Thousands of passengers were affected by the airline's decision and this caused numerous demonstrations at the country's main airports.

Given this, the Colombian authorities launched a customer protection plan where several airlines and the Air Force reaccommodated Viva travelers.

JetSMART lands in Ecuador

JetSMART Airlines announced its arrival in Ecuador on November 21, thus adding its eighth market in just six years of operation.

This rapid growth of the airline was explained by the company's founding CEO himself, Estuardo Ortiz, who assured that the model has been marked by audacity, resilience and the incessant search for rapid expansion and flexibility as a business mentality, this has allowed them to reach 25 million passengers during 2023.

JetSMART flota 1 1JetSMART flota 1 1
JetSMART transported 25 million people during the year

It should be noted that the airline currently has 74 routes in South America, of which 52 are domestic routes in the three markets in which it maintains a base of operations, Chile, Argentina and Peru, and 22 international routes, which have made transportation and connectivity possible. of more than 22 million passengers in its countries in the region: Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and now with a presence in Ecuador.

Likewise, JetSMART is preparing to start domestic operations in Colombia for March 2024 and thus continue its growth rate.

A 2024 of expansion

Beyond the growth presented during 2023, this year meant the recovery of the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. In this sense, 2024 is presented as a year of consolidation where airlines that have not yet reached their pre-pandemic levels recover their entire operation.

However, there are still several issues regarding airport fees, taxes, infrastructure, government policies and fuel costs that will continue to be debated next year, seeking actions that allow greater financial margin so that airlines have greater operating guarantees.

Nicolás Zorro for

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