Bogota - Avianca dropped 17 Airbus A320neo from a previous order and postponed deliveries of another 35 aircraft of the same type in order to maintain its financial stability for the next three years.
With this renegotiation with the European manufacturer, the Colombian flag carrier will be reducing its financial commitments by more than 2,6 billion dollars and preserve a cash position of $350 million for the 2020-2022 period.
In February 2015, Avianca signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for 100, A320neo to renew its single-aisle fleet from 2019. The 35 aircraft, of which the deliveries postponed were due from 2020 to 2022.
According to the airline, these order cancellations and delivery delays are part of a new strategy that seek to migrate from a growth model to that of profitability and operational efficiency.
In recent years, Avianca has expanded its network with new destinations in several countries in South America, the United States, and Europe.
The renegotiation with Airbus is the first step of an adjustment in the fleet structure of the South American carrier, which aşso includes the sales of the aging Embraer jets in the fleet and the transfer of the ATR fleet to a new subsidiary that will serve the domestic regional market in Colombia.
Avianca currently operates ten Embraer E190, 15 ATR 72 and two ATR 42.
According to the company, the routes that were being served by the Embraer E190s will be operated by the Airbus A320s.
On March 1st, Avianca Group announced the launch of its new regional airline "Express Americas", to serve some in the Colombian market more efficiently where it will initially cover six domestic routes that were previously operated by the Avianca's ATR fleet.
"The negotiation with Airbus is part of the transformation plan related to the simplification and optimization of our fleet that we started last year," said Avianca CEO Hernán Rincón.
According to Rincón, Avianca's principle of operating a young fleet of seven years old on average remains, as well as that of having the quantity and quality of aircraft needed to properly operate its route network.