||AVIANCA EL SALVADOR
||+503 267 8888
||+503 223 3757
Click below for data links:
TAC-2008-11 NEWS NEW LIVERY
TAC-2013-05 - UNIFIED AVIANCA LIVERY A320
TAC-Visit Antigua Guatemala.jpg
TAC-Visit Chichicastanango Guatemala.jpg
TAC-VISIT EL SALVADOR.jpg
FORMED AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1931. WAS FOUNDED AS TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES. AFTER TAKEOVER BY AVIANCA, WAS RENAMED AVIANCA EL SALVADOR IN 2016. REGIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED & CHARTER, PASSENGERS & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
ALTOS EDIFICIO CARIBE 2 PISO
SEGUNDA PLANTA, COLONIA ESCALON
SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR
THE REPUBLIC OF EL SALVADOR WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1821, COVERS AN AREA OF 21,041 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 6.2 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL IS SAN SALVADOR, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS SPANISH.
TACA International Airlines (TAC) was founded in 1931 by a New Zealander, Lowell Yerex, in Honduras, and was re-organised as TACA El Salvador in 1939. On 29 March 1960, the airline came under Salvadorean ownership, adopting the present title. During
FEBRUARY 1993: TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC) OWNS 30% OF AVIATECA (AVT), 10% OF LACSA (LAC), 49% OF NICA (NIC), & 35% OF SAHSA (SAH).
SERVICES TO BELIZE, GUATEMALA CITY, HOUSTON (HOU), LOS ANGELES (LAX), MANAGUA, MEXICO CITY, MIAMI (MIA), NEW ORLEANS, NEW YORK, PANAMA, SAN FRANCISCO (SFO), SAN JOSE, SAN PEDRO SULA, TEGUCIGALPA, AND WASHINGTON.
737-3Q8 (PQ481), (ILF) 3 YEAR LEASED, 767-216ER (CF6-80A2), (ILF) 4 YEAR LEASED. TO FLY EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) TO MADRID.
APRIL 1993: INCDT: 767-200 RAN OFF RUNWAY, AT GUATEMALA CITY = 3 INJURIES.
NEW HANGAR FOR 767, STUDY BY LUFTHANSA (DLH) DISCONTINUED - WENT WITH AUSTIN COMPANY (DESIGNED FOR 777 OR 4 737'S).
MAY 1993: 1ST 767-33AER (PW4056) (VN385), AWAS (AWW) LEASED, 255Y, FOR ROUTES TO MIAMI (MIA), AND LOS ANGELES (LAX).
SEPTEMBER 1993: PROPOSAL ACCEPTED FOR 5 737-300X's, 5 737-400X's, & 1 767-300ER (1994).
TO FLY EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) TO MILAN.
JULY 1994: 1 737-200 (JT8D-15), EX-AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ).
OCTOBER 1994: 1 737-200A (JT8D-9A), (ILF) LEASED.
NOVEMBER 1994: 1 767-300ER (CF6-80AC2) (VN732) DELIVERY.
MARCH 1995: 1 737-25A (23789).
JUNE 1995: 2 ORDERS (NOVEMBER 1995) A320-200'S (V2500).
DECEMBER 1995: 1 ORDER (MARCH 1996) 757-200ER (PW2037).
MARCH 1996: 1 737-300 (CFM56-3-B2) WET-LEASED, (ETOPS) TO AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) CHARTER SUBSIDIARY, FREEDOM AIR (SPT), FOR OPERATIONS TO AUSTRALIA.
JULY 1996: AS A CONDITION OF CODE SHARE WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), HAS TO INSTALL BUSINESS CLASS SEATS ON AIRPLANES.
LOOKING FOR +2 737-200'S.
AUGUST 1996: OPENING NEW 4 BAY, HANGAR FACILITY, AND AEROMAN (AEM) MAINTENANCE FOR TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC) GROUP FLEET, INCLUDING INSTALLATION OF NORDAM HUSHKITS.
IGNACIO FERNANDEZ, DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE & SHOPS; GERRARDO ALFARO, DIRECTOR MATERIEL; ROBERTO MADRIGAL, DIRECTOR ENGINEERING & QUALITY ASSURANCE/QUALITY CONTROL (EX-LACSA (LAC).
SEPTEMBER 1996: MODERNIZATION OF TECHNICAL LIBRARY, INCLUDING CD-ROM FOR MICROFILM & PAPER COPIES.
OCTOBER 1996: +2 737-200'S, EX-AVIOGENEX (AVG), YUGOSALVIA, & +2 737-200'S, EX-PAN AM (CVL). TO AEROMAN (AEM), FOR INITIAL RE-CONFIGURATION, AND STANDARDIZING, FOR BUSY HOLIDAY SEASON. EARLY NEXT YEAR, 1 TO LACSA (LAC). TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC) TO OPERATE OTHER 3, AFTER GETTING RID OF EXISTING 2 737-200'S, & CONVERTING 1 737-200QC TO FULL CARGO.
AEROMAN (AEM) STARTED INSTALLING NORDAM HUSHKITS ON 737-200'S. (AEM) IS TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE, ENGINEERING & QUALITY ASSURANCE SUPPORT, FOR COPA (COP) 737'S. (AEM) NOW PROVIDING ENGINEERING SUPPORT FOR ALL CENTRAL AMERICAN 737-200/-300'S.
(AEM)'S NEW HANGAR OPENS (4 AIRPLANES IN NEW ONE, ONLY 1 IN OLD).
5/5 ORDERS A320.
NOVEMBER 1996: FROM NEW INTEREST IN REGIONAL MARKET, (TACA) INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC) PURCHASED APPROXIMATELY 50% SHARES IN COSTENA, NICARAGUA, (3 CESSNA GRAND CARAVANS, SINCE OWNER IS CESSNA SALES REPRESENTATIVE), SOLD THESE 3, AND PURCHASED 6 NEW CESSNA GRAND CARAVANS.
AEROMAN (AEM) HAS STRUGGLED UNDER UNEXPECTED HEAVY WORKLOAD FROM OPENING OF 4-BAY 737 MAINTENANCE HANGAR, COPA (COP)'S MAINTENANCE, NEW HUSHKIT INSTALLATIONS, & +4 737-200'S. HAS HAD ALL 4 BAYS ACTIVE SIMULTANEOUSLY, AND HAD TO BORROW TECHNICIANS, AND INSPECTORS, FROM LACSA (LAC), NICA (NIC), COOPESA (COO), LANCHILE (LAN), AND AVIATECA (AVT) (APPROXIMATELY 70 PERSONNEL), & WILL TEMPORARILY RE-OPEN (AVT)'S MAINTENANCE HANGAR IN GUATEMALA.
+4 737-200'S FOR HOLIDAY SEASON. 1 767-219 (23326), AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) 3 MONTH LEASED.
DECEMBER 1996: BECAUSE OF HEAVY WORKLOAD AT AEROMAN (AEM), HAS TEMPORARILY OPENED AVIATECA (AVT)'S HANGAR, TO DO "C" CHECK, ON (AVT) 737-200.
(FAA) RENEWED AEROMAN'S (AEM) FOREIGN REPAIR STATION, CERTIFICATION, WITH LIMIT OF 3 OF 4 BAYS, UNTIL ADDITIONAL MANPOWER ADDED. FROM OBSERVATIONS OF FREEDOM AIR (SPT)'S MAINTENANCE OPERATION, TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC) IS NOW ADOPTING DEDICATED LINE MAINTENANCE TEAM, AND CAPTAIN FOR EACH AIRPLANE. RESULTED IN SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED DISPATCH RELIABILITY.
2 737-200'S (22596, 22601), FROM AVIOGENEX (AVG), YUGOSLAVIA. 737-300 LEASE TO FREEDOM AIR (SPT), NEW ZEALND, TO CONTINUE THROUGH MARCH 1997.
APRIL 1997: 5/5 ORDERS (SEPTEMBER 1997) A320'S, TO REPLACE 737-300'S.
AEROMAN (AEM) CONTRACT, FOR LAPSA (LAZ) 757 "C" CHECKS.
737-300 RETURNED FROM (FMA). 6 ORDERS CESSNA GRAND CARAVANS (POSSIBLE 20), TO BE OPERATED BY SANSA (REGIONAL SUBSIDIARY).
JUNE 1997: 737-244 (19708) RETURNED TO INTERLEASE.
AUGUST 1997: AEROMAN (AEM) MAINTENANCE CONTRACT, "D" CHECK FOR AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS (ARG) 737-200. 1ST A320 HEAVY MAINTENANCE, NEXT FEBRUARY 1998, FOR LACSA (LAC). 737-3S1 LEASED TO VARIG (VAR).
SEPTEMBER 1997: TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC) PARENT, AMERICA CENTRAL CORP, CHANGED ITS NAME TO "GRUPO TACA." 5 AIRLINES IN GROUP: TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC), AVIATECA (AVT), LACSA (LAC), COPA (COP) & NICA (NIC), ADOPTED NEW "5 GOLDEN MACAWS" LOGO, COMBINED FREQUENT FLYER, AND INTRODUCED BUSINESS CLASS.
TACA GROUP, TO CARRY OUT "PRODUCTIVITY" LAYOFFS OF -150, OF TOTAL 5,000 EMPLOYEES.
1 OF 4 737-300'S LEASED TO VARIG (VAR), FOR 5 YEARS. WANTS REMAINING 3 OUT OF FLEET, BY TIME A320'S ARRIVE IN NOVEMBER 1997. 1 767-300 FROM LEASE TO EVA AIR (EVA).
OCTOBER 1997: AEROMAN (AEM) ADDS COMPONENT SHOP CAPABILITIES FOR FLIGHT CONTROL ACTUATORS, ESCAPE SLIDES & RAFTS, 737-200 THRUST REVERSERS, AUTOPILOT COMPUTERS & OTHER AVIONICS. ALLOWS (AEM) TO COMPETE BETTER WITH REPAIR STATIONS, AT LANCHILE (LAN), AND COOPESA (COO).
TO GET SITA "AERONET," FOR MUCH FASTER TRANSFER OF BOEING, ON LINE DATA (BOLD). BY DECEMBER 1997, TO BE 1ST BOEING "BOLD" OPERATOR, IN LATIN AMERICA.
1ST OF HOPEFULLY MANY LAPSA (LAZ) 737-200'S "C" MAINTENANCE CHECKS. ALSO OFFERING TACA GROUP RELIABILITY PROGRAM TO (LAZ).
3 A320-233'S (733; 741; & 747) DELIVERIES.
DECEMBER 1997: THE (TACA) GROUP, NOW HAS 14/22 ORDERS A320'S (PART OF 3 AIRLINE GROUPS, INCLUDING TAM BRAZIL (TPR), & LANCHILE (LAN), BUYING 200 AIRBUS AIRPLANES, FOR $8 BILLION.
MARK KUHNS, DIRECTOR PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING.
JANUARY 1998: NEW ROUTES TO DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW), AND BOGOTA. IN 1998, ALSO, TO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND PUERTO RICO.
FORMS TACA INTER, TO SERVE SMALL AIRPORTS, USING CESSNA CARAVANS, IN GUATEMALA. FLIGHTS TO BE ADDED LATER, TO HONDURAS, EL SALVADOR, BELIZE, AND MEXICO.
30 ORDERS (JUNE 1999) A319'S, TO REPLACE 737-200'S.
FEBRUARY 1998: 1ST A320 "C" MAINTENANCE CHECK, AT AEROMAN, EX-LACSA (LAC).
MARCH 1998: $1.2 BILLION, 30/30 ORDERS A320'S, PART OF $4 BILLION ORDER, WITH LANCHILE (LAN), & TAM BRAZIL (TPR).
ASSIGNS GROUP REGIONAL AIRPORT DIRECTORS, FOR RAMP SERVICES, LINE MAINTENANCE, PASSENGERS: NORTHERN REGION - JAIME GONZALES (USA, CANADA, EL SALVADOR); CENTRAL REGION - RENE DUBROY (MEXICO, BELIZE, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS & NICARAGUA); & SOUTHERN REGION - ENRIQUE ODIO (COSTA RICA, PANAMA, PUERTO RICO, CUBA, & SOUTH AMERICA).
767-300 (VN731) LEASED TO BRITANNIA AIRWAYS (BRI). POSSIBLE LEASE OF 767-200 (VE116) TO ALITALIA (ALI), LEAVING 767-300 (VN730). NONSTOPS TO NEW YORK (JFK), & WASHINGTON DULLES, & GUATEMALA CITY - (JFK) (A320).
APRIL 1998: LAYS OFF REGIONAL DIRECTORS JAIME GONZALES AND RENE DEBROY.
OLDEST 737-200 (PG059), SOLD TO CHARLOTTE HORNETS (NBA) TEAM.
MAY 1998: ROBERTO MADRIGAL, DIRECTOR LINE MAINTENANCE, AEROMAN. MAURICIO MACHADO, DIRECTOR QUALITY CONTROL (QC) & TECHNICAL SERVICES; & JUAN CARLOS FLORES, MANAGER ENGINEERING.
2 737-3Q8 (26283; 26286) RETURNED TO (ILF).
JUNE 1998: GUATEMALA CITY - NEW YORK (JFK). SAN SALVADOR - NEW YORK (JFK)/WASHINGTON DULLES.
2, OF 3 737-300'S, SOLD TO COLOR AIR, NORWAY. 767-200 POSSIBLE SALE/LEASE TO SWISS WORLD AIRWAYS (SWI).
JULY 1998: USA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) OK'S CODE SHARE WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), TO 275 CENTRAL AMERICA - USA FLIGHTS.
AUGUST 1998: APPLIES TO USA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) FOR 150 DAY, EXEMPTION, TO FLY MIAMI (MIA) - BELIZE - (MIA), TO FACILITATE ITS AIRPLANE MAINTENANCE.
SEPTEMBER 1998: BUYS 20% ISLENA AIRLINES, OF HONDURAS (3 ATR42'S, LET 410 & SHORTS 360) LA CEIBA BASED.
737-200C SOLD TO OCEAN AIR. NEGOTIATING SALE OF LAST 737-300, & 767-200.
OCTOBER 1998: A320-233 (874) DELIVERY. 737-222 (19940) SOLD TO SACRAMENTO SKY KINGS (SKN). CESSNA 208B DELIVERY.
NOVEMBER 1998: FEDERICO BLOCH, CEO, ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF 26-MEMBER ITAL, ASSOCIATION OF LATIN AMERICAN AIRLINES.
DC-10-30CF (46836), WORLD AIRWAYS (WLD) WET-LEASED FOR MIAMI (MIA) - SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - SAN SALVADOR - SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS (HURRICANE RELIEF). 5 ATR42 (012; 066; 093; 120; 151), ATR ASSET MANAGEMENT. A320-233 (902) DELIVERY. 3 CESSNA 208B (PT6A-114A) DELIVERIES.
DECEMBER 1998: 6 A300B4-203F'S (CF6-50C2) (106; 107; 139, 140; 142) +2 OPTIONS (101; 173), S-C HOLDINGS LEASED. 2 ATR 42-320 (066; 093) DELIVERIES. 2 ATR 42-300'S (392; 406) FOR OPERATIONS BY ISLENA. 2 A320-233'S (V2527E-A5) (912; 916) DELIVERIES.
MARCH 1999: 737-300 (24856) RETURNED TO LESSOR, LEASED TO FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO).
APRIL 1999: IN LAST YEAR, HAS INVESTED IN REGIONAL AIRLINES: ISLENA OF HONDURAS, LA COSTENA OF NICARAGUA, & AEROPERLAS OF PANAMA, AND ALL WILL BE FLYING UNDER TACA COLORS. ALREADY HAS 3 AFFILIATES: INTER (GUATEMALA), SANSA (COSTA RICA), & INTER (CUBA).
2,100 EMPLOYEES. SITA: SALTDTA.
MAY 1999: 4,000 EMPLOYEES.
NEW YORK (JFK) - SAN PEDRO SULA - GUATEMALA CITY.
GROUNDS 1 737-300 AND 2 767-200'S.
JUNE 1999: ALL-CARGO SERVIEC, TO PANAMA (A300). NEW SUMMER FLIGHTS, MIAMI (MIA) TO BELIZE CITY (737), & TO FLORES, GUATEMALA (737), ENTRY POINT FOR MAYAN RUINS OF TIKAL.
A320-233 (1007, N460TA) DELIVERY.
JULY 1999: LAST 737-3S1 (24856, N372TA) RETURNED TO CIT (TCI), LEASED TO FRONTIER (FRO).
AUGUST 1999: PENDING APPROVAL OF (TACA)-AEROPERU AIRLINES, FOR OPERATIONS IN PERU, STARTING NEXT MONTH, WITH 737-200'S FOR DOMESTIC FLIGHTS, AND 3 A319'S FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, TO MIAMI, & BUENOS AIRES.
737-236 (23171, G-BKYM), EX-BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB), PACIFIC AIRCORP LEASED. 767-300 LEASED TO AVIANCA (AVI), FOR 3 MONTHS.
SEPTEMBER 1999: HAS 5 ATR 42'S OPERATIONS FOR ISLENA, IN HONDURAS.
GONE ARE THE DAYS, WHEN TACA WAS JOKED AS "TAKE-A-CHANCE AIRLINES."
2 A320'S (V2500) (460; 461) SOLD TO AVIATION CAPITAL & LEASED BACK, WET-LEASED TO LACSA (LAC). A319-132 (1066, N471TA), 12C, 108Y PAX, DELIVERY.
NOVEMBER 1999: FEDERICO BLOCH, TACA GROUP EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT & (CEO) RECEIVES 1999 "TONY JANNUS" AWARD (INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL AVIATION).
NEW YORK (JFK)-HAVANA (A320) CHARTER, FOR MARAZUL TOURS.
DECEMBER 1999: A319-132 (1140, N473TA) DELIVERY. 3 CESSNA GRAND CARAVAN 208B'S (0788; 0789; 0790) DELIVERIES.
JANUARY 2000: SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, TO EZEIZA AIRPORT, BUENOS AIRES (A319).
FEBRUARY 2000: GRUPO TACA: (TACA) INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (TAC), NICA (NIC), AVIATECA (AVT), LACSA (LAC), TACA HONDURAS (THD), TACA PERU (TNM).
1999 = 3.24 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX), 68% LF LOAD FACTOR (+11).
737-236 (23171, N930PG), RETURNED TO PACIFIC AIR GROUP.
MARCH 2000: CODE SHARE WITH AIR FRANCE (AFA), MIAMI TO GUATEMALA CITY.
TOP MIAMI CARGO OPERATORS IN 1999 TONS (1,000):
1 TLS 2 60 (+14%); 2 AAL 171 (-6.5%); 3 CHA 141 (-1.9%); 4 ARW 119K (+9%); 5 TMP 118 (+8.3%); 6 FNE 112 (-29.7%); 7 CKF 92 (-34%) 8 UPS 70 (+20.3%); 9 UAL 58 (-6.4%); 10 AMJ 44 (-47%); 11 LAN 41 (+32.4%); 12 TAC 36 (+100%); 13 DHL 36 (-10%); 14 FED 32 (-46.7%); 15 STZ 26 (+2.1%).
EXPANDS ITS CODE SHARE WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), FROM MIAMI (MIA), TO 7 CITIES: BOSTON, SAN FRANCISCO (SFO), DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW), ATLANTA, ORLANDO, SEATTLE, AND DENVER.
2,100 EMPLOYEES. SITA: SALTDTA.
A319-132 (1159, N474TA), DELIVERY.
MAY 2000: ALFREDO SCHILDNECHT, PROMOTED TO (COO). ERNESTO RUIZ VP MAINTENANCE & HEAD OF AEROMAN.
JUNE 2000: USA (FAA) SAFETY OVERSIGHT, RATES EL SALVADOR AS CATEGORY 2, WHICH PREVENTS AIRLINE FLYING TO USA, UNLESS USING WET-LEASED AIRPLANES, FROM A CATEGORY 1 COUNTRY.
2 767-3S1ER'S (25221; 26608), RETURNED TO CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL (CDI).
SEPTEMBER 2000: 737-210C (344-20917, N4905W), SOLD TO LASERLINE LEASE FINANCE.
OCTOBER 2000: INCORPORATES AEROPERLAS (APE), INTO GRUPO TACA, AND WILL COMPETE WITH COPA (COP) ON INTERNATIONAL ROUTES.
MONTREAL - HAVANA - SAN SALVADOR - SAN JOSE (3/WEEK).
DECEMBER 2000: GRUPO TACA STARTS LIMA - BOGOTA. NOW SERVES 39 DESTINATIONS IN 19 COUNTRIES IN THE AMERICAS.
4 A320-233'S (1300, N461TA; 1334, N462TA; 1339, N463TA; 1353, N464TA) DELIVERIES, WET-LEASED TO LACSA (LAC).
JANUARY 2001: DAILY CODE SHARE, WITH AEROMEXICO (AMX), LIMA - MEXICO CITY.
1 A320-233 (1374, N465TA) DELIVERY.
FEBRUARY 2001: CODE SHARE WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), GIVES GRUPO TACA +8 NEW, USA DESTINATIONS, FOR TOTAL 50, BEYOND DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW): TO ALBUQUERQUE, INDIANAPOLIS, OMAHA, PITTSBURGH, ST LOUIS, SALT LAKE CITY AND TULSA; AND BEYOND MIAMI: TO JACKSONVILLE.
IN JULY 2001, GUATEMALA CITY TO NEW YORK (JFK). ALSO, SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS TO (JFK).
MARCH 2001: 1 A320-233 (1400, N470TA) DELIVERY. A320-233 N464TA), WET-LEASED TO CUBANA (CUB).
APRIL 2001: 5,400 EMPLOYEES.
MAY 2001: CONSIDERING FORMING A TACA ECUADOR.
JUNE 2001: GRUPO (TACA) 1ST QUARTER = 1.63 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (+33.7%), 820,000 (PAX) (+24.9%).
2 A320-233'S (1482, N467TA; 1500, N468TA) DELIVERIES.
JULY 2001: 2 A320-233'S (1509, N483TA; 1523, N484TA) DELIVERIES.
AUGUST 2001: GRUPO TACA EXPANDS CODE SHARE WITH AIR FRANCE (AFA), BEYOND GUATEMALA, TO INCLUDE EL SALVADOR, NICARAGUA, AND HONDURAS (SAN PEDRO SULA). GRUPO TACA HAS SERVICE AGREEMENT WITH LLOYD AEREO BOLIVIANO (LAB), TO PROVIDE 2 A319'S, AND CODE SHARE BETWEEN BOGOTA, AND CARACAS, TO BOLIVIA.
737-25A (23789) TO PEGASUS (PSS), LEASED TO VANGUARD (VAG).
SEPTEMBER 2001: GRUPO TACA STARTS GUATEMALA CITY - FLORES - CANCUN (ATR42, 48Y PAX).
OCTOBER 2001: FACED WITH WORST CRISIS IN LATIN AMERICAN AVIATION HISTORY, THE HEADS OF 11 MAJOR AIRLINE MEMBERS OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION (AITAL) INCLUDING: (ACE); (AVI); (AMX)/(CMA); (LAV); (AVN); (SEZ); (COP); (LAN); (TAC); (VAR); & (VSP), MET IN MIAMI TO SEEK SOLUTIONS, AND POSSIBLE HELP FROM GOVERNMENTS.
NOW HAS "www.taca.com" ON REAR FUSELAGE, USING DECORATIVE TROPICAL BIRDS. 1 A319-132 (1575, N475TA) DELIVERY.
DECEMBER 2001: 2 737-205'S (21729; 21765) LEASED TO AEROGAL (ERG).
APRIL 2002: 5,400 EMPLOYEES.
MAIN BASE: EL SALVADOR INTERNATIONAL (SAL).
HUBS: LIMA - JORGE CHAVEZ INTERNATIONAL (LIM); SAN JOSE - JUAN SANTAMARIA INTERNATIONAL (SJO); & SAN SALVADOR (ZSA).
MAY 2002: IN JUNE 2002, TO BOSTON (ITS 9TH USA DESTINATION), VIA SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA (LACSA (LAC) A319/A320, WEEKLY). TO DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW) (A320, DAILY).
July 2002: GRUPO TACA 2001 = 3.09 BILLION PASSENGER TRAFFIC (RPK) (-46.3%); 71% LF LOAD FACTOR; 2.19 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (-28.8%); 46.88 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC.
September 2002: Will retire its 8 remaining 737-200's, and replace with Airbus airplanes.
October 2002: In November 2002, Guatemala City to Los Angeles (LAX).
A320-233 (1676, EI-TAC) delivery.
November 2002: To start (TACA) ECUADOR, Guayaquil - New York (A319), in December 2002.
December 2002: A320-233 (1730, N486TA) delivery.
January 2003: USA (FAA) Safety Oversight rates El Salvador Category 1 following a reassessment of its civil aviation authority, to international safety standards set by (ICAO).
Chicago (ORD) - Guatemala City, with continuing service to San Jose, Costa Rica.
June 2003: A319-132 (1934, N476TA) delivery.
July 2003: 5,400 employees.
A319-100, Debis AirFinance (DEA) 5 year leased.
August 2003: A320-233 (1007, N460TA) returned to (PSS).
September 2003: 2002 = 3.85 Billion (RPK) traffic (-37.4%); -37.6% (ASK) capacity; 68% LF load factor; 3.7 Million (PAX) (+7.1%).
2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES PASSENGER TRAFFIC (RPK) (BILLION):
121 (XIJ) 3.88; 122 (STG) 3.87; 123 (MCR) 3.87; 124 (TAC) 3.85; 125 (SBE) 3.77; 126 (RBA) 3.72; 127 (DLH) CITYLINE) 3.66; 128 (HGA) 3.55; 129 (BRT) 3.52.
A320-233 (2084, N487TA) (ILF) leased.
October 2003: Code share with Air France (AFA), Miami - Guatemala City, Managua, San Pedro Sula, and San Salvador.
November 2003: 10 737-200's sold to Aerocontinente (COH).
A320-233 (789, N454TA), returned to Pegasus (PSS).
April 2004: Los Angeles - Managua (2/week).
April 2004: Federico Bloch, 50, retired as (CEO) of (TACA) International Airlines (TAC). When returning to San Salvador from a beach home, his vehicle was struck by heavy gunfire and he was murdered. Roberto Kriete, Chairman, assumed his duties.
May 2004: Has requested a Venzuelan Air Operating Certificate (AOC).
10 737-200's (21729; 21765; 22071; 22074; 22075; 22277; 22395; 22408; 22596; & 22601), sold to (AAR) (AFD). A320-233 (912), returned to CIT (TCI). A320-233 (916) returned to Pegasus (PSS).
July 2004: # EUR 20 Million/$24.8 Million contract with Lufthansa (DLH) Systems in partnership with Amadeus to provide a package if Information Technology (IT) solutions covering most of its core processes over a 5-year period. Included are NetLine products for flight planning, operations control, and crew management, as well as the revenue management systems ProfitLine/Yield and MULTIhOST, which automate key airline-related core processes for passenger in reservations and at airports. In addition, all aspects of flight route planning at (Taca) (TAC) will be supported by Lido Operation Center.
(TAC) also selected Amadeus's Information Technology (IT) platform Altea for sales and reservations.
A320-233 (902, N457TA) returned to Pegasus (PSS).
August 2004: Codesharing and traffic distribution agreement with Iberia Airlines (IBE), Madrid to San Jose via Miami (daily), San Jose - Panama City (4/week), San Jose - Managua (daily), to San Pedro Sula via San Jose &/or Miami (daily), to El Salvador via San Jose &/or Miami &/or Havana (daily), plus to Guatemala City via Miami &/or San Jose.
October 2004: A320-233 (2282, N490TA) delivery.
November 2004: A319-132 (2339, N478TA) & A320-233 (2301, N491TA) deliveries.
December 2004: Implemented Lufthansa (DLH) Systems' FrontCheck front-end solution for checking passengers at Miami. Intends to migrate all its stations to the solution with completion by next spring.
+15 orders A320 family, including 5 A321's, 186 PAX, to be 1st in Latin America starting September 2005.
May 2005: 2 A320-233 (2434, N492TA;; 2494, N429TA) deliveries.
July 2005: 4,054 employees (-5.5%).
A320-233 (1300) wet-leased to Universal Airlines (ZUA).
September 2005: (Taca) International (TAC) took delivery of the first of five A321s Sept 23, becoming the first operator of the type in Latin America. It also was the region's first operator of the A319 and A320.
A321-231 (2553, N566TA), delivery.
November 2005: A320-233 (561, F-HBAD), leased to Aigle Azur (AZU). A320-233 (1353, N464TA), wet-leased to Martinair (MTH). A321-231 (2610, N567TA), delivery.
December 2005: A319-132 (2657, N493TA) delivery. A320-233 (558, N474TA), returned to Volito Leasing, leased to Aigle Azur (AZU).
January 2006: A319-132 (2666, N494TA), delivery. A319-132 (1159, N474TA), wet-leased to Volaris (VLS).
February 2006: United Airlines (UAL) and TACA International Airlines (TAC) reached a code share agreement giving (UAL) passengers access to TACA (TAC)'s entire network and TACA (TAC) customers the opportunity to connect to destinations through "several" (UAL) hubs including Washington Dulles, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Regulatory approvals are expected by the second quarter.
A320-233 (1334, EI-TAD), wet-leased to Cubana (CUB). A321-231 (2687, N568TA), delivery.
May 2006: A320-233 (1482, N482TA), returned to lessor.
June 2006: Celebrates 75 year anniversary!
Paints tail of A320-233 (2118, N488TA) with special "75 ANOS" - see photo. A320-233 (2791, N495TA), delivery.
August 2006: (TACA) (TAC) and United Airlines (UAL) expanded their code share agreement to include Lacsa (LAC)-operated flights to Los Angeles, New York (JFK) and Miami, effective August 15.
September 2006: (Taca) (TAC) discontinued service from San Salvador (El Salvador) to Boston. The airline operated an A320 on the route.
October 2006: A320-233 (2917, N493TA) & A321-231 (2862, N564TA), deliveries.
November 2006: A319-132 (1575, N475TA), returned to Volito, leased to (TAM) Brasil (TPR).
December 2006: Air Canada (ACN) Technical Services (ACTS) entered into an agreement to acquire 80% of Aeromantenimiento SA, the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) division of Grupo (TACA) (TAC), during the first quarter of 2007 for $44.7 million in cash and the right to acquire an equity stake in (ACTS) (expected to be less than 7%). Grupo (TACA) (TAC) Chairman & President, Roberto Kriete will join the (ACTS) board. "This is a key step in establishing (ACTS) as a leading (MRO) organization in the Americas," (ACTS) President & (CEO), Chahram Bolouri said. Aeroman employs about 1,000 and is a founding member of the Airbus (EDS) (MRO) network. Major clients include (TACA) (TAC), JetBlue Airways (JBL), and US Airways (AMW)/(USA).
March 2007: A319-132 (3057, N480TA), delivery.
April 2007: A319-132 (3113, N496TA), & A320-233 (3103, N495TA), deliveries.
May 2007: Lufthansa (DLH) announced a partnership with (TACA) (TAC) that will further the German giant's Latin American reach. The (TACA) (TAC) deal is similar to the (TAM) (TPR) code share recently announced and will comprise code sharing on both domestic and international routes, as well as the possibility of future links between loyalty programs, flight schedules and lounges. (DLH) and Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) offer 35x-weekly flights to Latin America while TACA (TAC) serves 35 destinations in 20 countries across North and South America from hubs in San Salvador, San Jose and Lima.
A320-233 (1339), returned to lessor and leased to (TAM) Brazil (TPR).
July 2007: The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, reached a definitive agreement to acquire (ARINC) from its current shareholders, which include more than a dozen major airlines and Boeing (TBC). (ARINC), which generates more than >$900 million in annual revenue, specializes in transportation communications technology, and its Air Traffic Control (ATC) support systems are used by carriers and airports throughout the world. Primary shareholders in the 77-year-old company based in Annapolis, include American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Northwest Airlines (NWA), US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Air Canada (ACN), Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Lufthansa (DLH), British Airways (BAB), Mexicana (CMA), Swiss International Air Lines (CSR), (TACA) (TAC), FedEx (FED), Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), and Philippine Airlines (PAL). (AAL) said it would receive $194 million from the sale of its stake and (UAL) expects $125 million. Other carriers did not immediately disclose expected proceeds and (ARINC) did not release financial details. The company said the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter subject to regulatory approval. "This is an important step in the evolution of (ARINC)," Chairman & (CEO), John Belcher said. "We have worked very hard to find a partner, who shares our vision and believe that Carlyle's international presence, financial resources, and expertise in the aerospace, defense and communications sectors will be instrumental in the continued expansion of our business." Carlyle Managing Director & Head Global Aerospace & Defense, Peter Clare said, "We believe that (ARINC) is well positioned to capitalize on several favorable macro trends in both its commercial and government market segments." (ARINC) earned net income of +$10.2 million in 2006, a +14.3% decrease from +$11.9 million in 2005. Its annual revenue has risen steadily this decade, increasing +72.7% from $532 million in 2000 to $919 million last year.
July 2007: Air Canada Technical Services (ACTS), the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) provider, 30% owned by Air Canada (ACN) parent (ACE) Aviation Holdings, reached new 10-year agreements with both (TACA) (TAC) and Mexico's Volaris (VLS) for (MRO) work on components and related logistics, in deals valued at a combined C$200 million/$190.5 million. ACTS President & (CEO), Chahram Bolouri said the company "anticipates strong revenue growth" in its engine and component businesses for 2007 and that its acquisition of El Salvador's Aeroman "strategically positioned us to attract the business of carriers across the Americas."
The USA (FAA) raised Guatemala's safety rating from Category 2 to Category 1, saying the nation now meets (ICAO) standards.
August 2007: Ramco said (TACA) (TAC) Regional, which consists of Grupo (TACA) (TAC)'s domestic carriers operating within Central America - - Inter (IDV) and Aviateca (AVT) (Guatemala), Islena (Honduras), Sansa (SSA) (Costa Rica) and Aeroperlas (APE) (Panama) - - will deploy its Maintenance & Engineering Solution and Aviation Financial Solution.
A319-132 (3248, N520TA), delivery.
October 2007: (Taca) Group (TAC) placed an order for 11 Embraer E190s plus 15 options. The order, is worth $379.5 million at list prices and could reach $897 million, if all options are exercised. The airplane will be configured with 88 economy (Y) and eight executive class (C) seats, with deliveries planned to begin in the second half of next year.
A319-132 (3276, N521TA), delivery.
January 2008: TACA (TAC) will launch 4x-times-weekly, San Jose - David service on February 18, onboard a 48-seat ATR 42.
TACA (TAC) placed a firm order for 12 A320s and three A319s. The airplanes will be configured in a two-class layout. (TACA) (TAC) currently operates nine A319s, 23 A320s and four A321s.
A320-214 (3378, N497TA), delivery.
March 2008: A320-233 (3418, N498TA), delivery.
April 2008: (TACA) International (TAC) expects 2008 revenue to increase +15% year-over-year to $1.1 billion, as passenger traffic rises +10% to +15%, President, Roberto Kriete told the "Reuters Latin America Investment Summit," according to the news service. "We are growing because we do not depend on the North American market," he said. "We believe that Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil all are going to have economic growth above the levels of the USA and Canada." However, he said fuel prices "are going to hurt us hard," as (TACA) (TAC) is 60% hedged for the first six months of 2008, but only 30% to 40% hedged for the second semester, "Reuters" said.
For details on (TACA) International Airlines (TAC) growth plans, see details in attached - - "TAC-GROWTH-APR08."
TACA (TAC) will launch daily, San Salvador - Panama City on April 15.
A320-233 (747), returned to lessor, leased to Donbassaero (UDC).
May 2008: ACCDT: (TACA) International (TAC) A320-233 (V2527E-A5) (1374 /01 EI-TAF) overshot the runway landing at Tegucigalpa Airport, Honduras, killing the pilot (FC), 2 passengers, and two motorists on the ground, with 81 injured. There were 124 on board. The 2 passenger fatalities died of heart failure. The airplane was destroyed (W/O). SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "TAC-ACCDT-MAY08/-A."
June 2008: As the El Salvador and Honduras flag carrier, (Taca) International Airlines (TAC) operates jet airplane services to 35 cities in the Americas, including all of Central America, nine destinations in the USA and Canada, as well important business and leisure centres in South America and the Caribbean.
(IATA) Code: TA - 202. (ICAO) Code: TAI(Callsign - TACA).
Parent organization/shareholders: Grupo (TACA) (100%).
Owns: Islena Airlines (20%); LACSA (LAC) (10%); & Taca Peru (TPU) (49%).
Main Base: San Salvador Comalapa International Airport (SAL).
Hubs: Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM); & San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO).
International, scheduled destinations: Belize City; Bogota; Boston; Buenos Aires; Caracas; Cuzco; Dallas/Fort Worth; Guatemala City; Guayaquil; Houston; La Paz; Lima; Los Angeles; Managua; Mexico City; Miami; New Orleans; New York; Panama City; Quito; Roatan; San Francisco; San Jose; San Pedro Sula; Santa Cruz; Santiago; Sao Paulo; Tegucigalpa; & Washington.
A320-233 (3510, N499TA), delivery.
September 2008: TACA (TAC) will begin Lima - Asuncion flights thrice weekly with A319s beginning in December. The carrier currently serves 16 cities from its Lima hub, in addition to 17 from its hub in San Salvador, and 15 from its hub in San Jose, Costa Rica.
(TACA) (TAC) took delivery of its first E190. It has 11 on order with options for an additional 15.
October 2008: (TACA) (TAC) unveiled a new logo, livery and uniforms that the Central American company claimed "implies a transformation of our products and our service culture." The logo includes a stylized red bird next to the company name. "We're undergoing a complete transformation to gain customer preference," Chairman & (CEO), Roberto Kriete said. (TACA) (TAC) said it will "offer passengers a new experience, that includes improvements to onboard services, fleet upgrades, and an overhaul of the airline's customer service philosophy," without elaborating. (TACA) (TAC) serves 39 destinations in 22 countries aboard 38 A320 family airplanes and two E190s.
International Aero Engines (IAE) announced an order from Grupo (TACA) (TAC) for (V2500) SelectOne engines to power an additional 15 A320 family airplanes. The contract includes the (V2500) Select aftermarket agreement and is valued at $400 million at list prices. (TACA) (TAC) currently flies 37 (V2500)-powered airplanes and is awaiting delivery of four more, giving it a 19-airplane backlog with (IAE).
SEE NEW LIVERY IN ATTACHED - - "TAC-A320-OCT08."
A320-233 (2084) to TAME (TAM).
November 2008: SEE NEW LIVERY IN ATTACHED - - "TAC-NEWS-NOV08."
March 2009: 2 Embraer E190-100 IGWs (0259, N982TA; 265, N983TA), deliveries. 2 A320-233s (731, 1730), returned to lessors.
April 2009: Lufthansa (DLH) and (TACA) (TAC) implemented a code share agreement under which (DLH) will place its code on (TAC)'s Miami - San Salvador and Caracas - Lima flights, while (TAC) puts its code on (DLH)'s daily service from Frankfurt to both Miami and Caracas.
A321-231 (3869, N570TA), delivery.
July 2009: E190 (0273, N984TA), delivery.
September 2009: A320-233 (1523, N484TA), returned to lessor.
October 2009: Avianca (AVI) has confirmed it is merging with Grupo (TACA) (TAC). In a letter to employees, (AVI) (CEO), Fabio Villegas said (AVI)'s board after months of study has decided to pursue a "strategic merger" with Grupo (TACA) (TAC). But Villegas stressed that each company intends to maintain its own identity and will continue to operate independently. He said "the project offers big opportunities given the multitude of synergies" the two carriers will be able to pursue. Their combined network will also provide (AVI) and (TAC) customers with improved connections throughout the Americas and the world. The two carriers already code share on some routes.
"I am sure with the commitment of all employees we will create with (TAC) the most important airline leader in Latin America," Villegas said. He called the deal with (TAC) "of great significance for our company and the Latin American aviation industry in general". Villegas said combined, the carriers have an "optimistic future" which is sure to be "recognized nationally and internationally".
(LAN) Airlines is now the biggest airline group in Latin America, with passenger airlines in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru, plus cargo airlines in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and the USA. Publicly-traded (LAN) also has been looking at establishing new passenger airlines in Colombia and Brazil, perhaps through a merger or acquisition.
Grupo Taca (TAC) includes airlines in nearly every Central American country as well as in Peru. (TAC), which is privately owned, also has a stake in Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris (VLS).
(AVI) is predominately owned by Brazil's Synergy Group, which also owns Brazilian carrier OceanAir (ONE) and Ecuadorean regional carrier, VIP. It is unclear if the (AVI)-(TAC) tie-up will include these smaller carriers but (AVI) already last year took over the management of OceanAir (ONE). (AVI) last year also acquired Colombian cargo carrier Tampa (TMP).
Once the transaction is complete, (TAC) (CEO) & Chairman, Roberto Kriete will serve as Chairman of the new group’s board of directors and (AVI) (CEO), Fabio Villegas plans to serve as (CEO). Other members of the new company’s senior management team include current (TAC) (COO), Estuardo Ortiz who will assume the same role upon the company’s formation, and (AVI) (CFO), Gerardo Grajales, who also assumes the same role once the merger is complete.
(AVI) is roughly double the size of (TAC) on a revenue basis with the former generating about $2 billion in annual revenues and the latter about $1 billion. (LAN) as a group last year generated $4.5 billion in revenues.
Next month, (TAC) will start Lima - Mexico City. In December, it will start serving its 42nd destination, Porto Alegre in southeastern Brazil from its Lima hub. This will be its third in Brazil after Sao Paulo and Rio.
Amadeus reached a five-year, full-content distribution agreement with (TACA) International Airlines (TAC) covering all inventory from (TAC) as well as its subsidiaries Lacsa (LAC), Aviateca (AVT) and (TACA) Peru (TNM).
November 2009: The recent merger of Avianca (AVI) and Taca International (TAC) has now acquired AeroGal (ERG). (ERG) already had equity links to (AVI)'s controlling shareholder, the Synergy Group.
(ERG) has been operating as a relatively small airline, focusing mostly on domestic flights including those to the Galapagos Islands made famous by Charles Darwin. It also serves Bogota and Miami.
US Airways (AMW)/(USA) received Department of Transportation approval for its code share agreement with Grupo (TACA) (TAC). Beginning January 12, (AMW)/(USA) passengers will be able to connect on TACA (TAC) flights from San Salvador, San Jose (Costa Rica), and Lima to domestic airports, as well as to destinations in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua. (TAC) passengers will gain access to (AMW)/(USA)'s network through Charlotte.
READ ATTACHED "AIRLINE BUSINESS" ARTICLE - - "TAC-AVI-MERGER-2009-11."
December 2009: Mercator won a contract to implement its SkyChain cargo Information Technology (IT) solution at (TACA) (TAC) Cargo.
E190 (0287, N985TA), delivery. 2 A320-233s (1400; 1523), returned to lessor.
January 2010: Amadeus will provide Emirates (EAD), Finnair (FIN) and (TACA) (TAC) with its Marketing Information Data Tapes, which contain information about airline bookings made by travel agencies connected to the Amadeus Global Distribution System (GDS).
February 2010: Grupo (TACA) (TAC) and Avianca (AVI) announced the finalization of their merger agreement and the forming of their joint holding company, to be called "Avianca-(TACA) Ltd." It will be domiciled in the Bahamas and held 67% by Avianca (AVI) parent, Synergy Aerospace Corporation and 33% by (TACA) (TAC) parent, Kingsland Holding. "The joint venture (JV) process is to be made in phases, with the main purpose of innovating for the benefit of markets and travelers, moving progressively into a strategic integration that allows strengthening the competitive position of the airlines in Latin America, with a common vision," the company said. The merged airline group operates a combined fleet of 129 airplanes.
March 2010: Avianca (AVI), which finalized its merger with Grupo (TACA) (TAC) last month, plans to continue growing with the acquisition of Aerogal (ERG), (CEO), Fabio Villegas said. Speaking to journalists in the Ecuadoran capital, he said Avianca (AVI) parent, Synergy Aerospace intends to invest $7.2 million on an 80% stake in Aerogal (ERG) while (TACA) (TAC) parent, Kingsland Holding will acquire the remaining 20%, "Dow Jones" reported. Government approval is pending. Villegas said (ERG) will take delivery of three new A320s in the second half of this year, increasing its overall fleet to 15 airplanes. Poder 360 reported that the sale could be completed by June and that (ERG) Chairwoman, Gabriela Sommerfield said (ERG) will maintain its brand.
Avianca (AVI) said it posted a 2009 net profit of +COP19 billion/+$9.9 million, down -53.7% from the +COP41 billion reported in 2008. Passenger numbers rose +4.5% to 6.9 million.
October 2010: (TACA) Airlines (TAC) from December 1 is scheduled to operate a 4x-weekly nonstop service from its San Salvador base to Liberia in Costa Rica. The service, which will operate in the morning on Mondays and Wednesdays and the afternoon on Tuesdays
and Fridays, is being promoted as a connection for (TAC)’s international flights to Guatemala, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and San Francisco.
November 2010: (TACA) Airlines (TAC) will launch daily, Miami - Lima service on December 1.
The Star Alliance (SAL) took yet another step in its dynamic expansion by announcing it has officially invited Avianca (AVI) - (TACA) (TAC) and Copa Airlines (COP) to join the grouping. “The addition of these two quality airline groups concludes a strategic process which increases the alliance’s footprint in the vibrant, growing economies of Latin America,” (SAL) (CEO), Jaan Albrecht said. The two airline groups will add +46 new destinations and five new hubs in Latin America to what Albrecht called “Star (SAL)’s worldwide web.”
Copa Airlines (COP) and Copa Airlines Colombia (REU), formerly Aero Republica, operate hubs in Panama City and Bogota and the Avianca (AVI) - (TACA) (TAC) group operates hubs in Bogota, San Salvador, Lima and San Jose (Costa Rica).
Albrecht said that the inclusion of (COP) and (AVI) - (TAC) should not infer that the (SAL) alliance is anticipating Latin American member (TAM) Airlines (TPR)’s departure from the group but rather as the culmination of a strategic process to extend (SAL)’s reach in the region. (TPR) joined in May but in August announced it reached a merger agreement in principle with Oneworld (ONW) alliance member (LAN) Airlines, opening the possibility for the new merged entity to move to the (SAL) or to Oneworld (ONW). “Our clients told us that we had a white spot in our coverage, [namely] in Central America, the Caribbean and the northern and western regions of South America. (COP) and (AVI) - (TAC)’s networks are complementary to (TAM)’s (TPR),” Albrecht noted. He recognized that the pending merger of (TPR) and (LAN) does create “new challenges” and that it is the first time there is a cross-alliance merger in Latin America. But, he stressed, “We are aggressively looking forward to their discussions and we will make the best proposal.” He also noted that the wooing of (COP) started over a year ago with the addition of Continental Airlines (CAL), which subsequently merged with United Airlines (UAL). (COP) left the SkyTeam (STM) alliance together with its partner (CAL) in October last year. The “new” United (UAL)/(CAL) will mentor (COP)’s entry process and Lufthansa (DLH) will support (AVI) - (TAC). Both groups said they anticipate they will become full members in 18 months.
“(COP)’s membership in the Star (SAL) Alliance will enhance our global reach as we implement strong partnerships with its 27 carriers and link Latin America’s most efficient hub, our Hub of the Americas in Panama City, to (SAL)´s vast global network,” said (COP) CEO, Pedro Heilbron. (COP) and (REU) serve 52 destinations in 25 countries aboard 34 737NGs and 26 E190ARs.
For (AVI) - (TAC) (CEO), Fabio Villegas, the group’s joining of the Star (SAL) Alliance is “a determining factor for our competitive strategy that will enable us to leap forward in terms of the scope and scale of the benefits provided to our passengers.” (AVI) - (TAC), which consolidated several smaller Latin American carriers, agreed to a strategic merger in October 2009, creating a combined network serving some 128 destinations in the Americas and Europe. The group operates a fleet of 118 airplanes and expects to carry more than >17.9 million passengers this year. Revenue is over >$3 billion. (TAC)’s initial request for (SAL) membership dates back to 2008.
January 2011: (TACA) International (TAC) is starting Peruvian domestic flights next month using a mix of A320s and E-190s.
February 2011: Barfield won a 10-year contract from Avianca (AVI) - (TACA) (TAC) to provide full component support for the A320 fleet operated by the group’s four airlines, Avianca (AVI), (TACA) (TAC), Aerogal (ERG), and Ocean Air (now Avianca Brazil) (ONE). Barfield’s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) support includes an option to provide logistics in Miami as well as the supply of consumable items. As part of the agreement, Barfield, which is the USA subsidiary of Sabena Technics (SAB) committed to setting up specific repair capabilities in Bogota to better support Grupo Avianca (TACA)’s airlines. The facility will also support other operators in South America.
Sabena Technics (SAB) (CEO), Christophe Bernardini called the contract a “milestone” for Barfield. “We are proud of the trust (AVI) - (TAC) has extended to our group and will do our utmost to ensure that our customer’s operations are near perfection,” he said.
(GECAS) (GEF) signed a purchase and leaseback transaction for two new A330-200s and four new A320s. The airplanes are part of AVIANCA (AVI) - TACA (TAC)’s existing order book with Airbus (EDS). Two of the A320s will be operated by (Taca) (TAC), the remainder will be operated by Avianca (AVI). Additionally, (GEF) has leased 10 A318s to Avianca (AVI).
March 2011: AviancaTaca Holding SA, the parent of Avianca (AVI) and (TACA) (TAC), commenced an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombian Stock Market consisting of 100 million shares of non-voting preferred stock, priced at $2.70/COP5,000. The offering is expected to raise approximately $250 million after underwriter fees and discounts. The (IPO) will conclude April 15. Proceeds will be used for "corporate expansion plans of the holding company [and] subsidiaries," the company said.
AviancaTaca (CEO), Fabio Villegas Ramirez called the (IPO) "a very important step in the history of the corporation," which was created in February 2010.
May 2011: AviancaTaca Holding SA, the parent of Avianca (AVI) and (TACA) (TAC), announced it raised $279 million from its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and noted it became the first airline to allocate 100% of its (IPO) among frequent flyers and company employees. The new shares will begin trading on the Colombian Stock Exchange.
In a sale that took place between March 28 and April 15, the company received over >64,000 investment requests, equivalent to more than >$1.6 billion, or about six times the offered amount.
"The huge response that the AviancaTaca (IPO) elicited, is a strong signal of the credibility and recognition of thousands of individuals with a project that we have been jointly building over recent years," said AviancaTaca Executive President, Fabio Villegas Ramirez.
Embraer Aircraft Maintenance Services announced it has completed the fourth heavy maintenance inspection on an Embraer E190 for the (TACA) Group, under a maintenance agreement signed in the fourth quarter of 2010.
June 2011: The USA Department of Transportation said it assessed a civil penalty of $55,000 against (TACA) International Airlines (TAC) for violating rules prohibiting deceptive advertising of airfares.
The (DOT) said that for a period of time in 2010 and this year, (TAC) “used a program on its website that allowed consumers to search for flights on exact or flexible dates. Searches by both methods produced airfare quotes noting that the fares did not include taxes and fees, but (TAC) failed to disclose the type and amount of the taxes and fees as required by (DOT) rules.”
“Consumers have a right to know the full price they will be paying for air fares,” said USA Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood.
The (DOT) said it requires any advertising that includes a price for air transportation to state the full price to be paid by the consumer. “The only exception, which will end October 24 due to a recently adopted (DOT) rule, is for government-imposed taxes and fees that are assessed on a per-passenger basis, such as passenger facility charges,” it said.
Continental Airlines (CAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) were similarly fined earlier this month.
June 2011: AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for 51 A320 family airplanes, including 33 A320neos.
September 2011: Aeroman is adding a new hangar to its maintenance facility in El Salvador for both existing airplanes (A320s and 737s) and the future A320neo. The expansion will add about 82,000 sq ft to the existing 294,541 sq ft facility. Construction began September 1 and is slated for completion by April 2012.
Avianca (AVI), part of the airline group AviancaTaca Holdings, has ordered four A330-200F freighters. The new airplanes, to be operated by Avianca (AVI)’s cargo subsidiary, Tampa (TMP), will replace its cargo fleet and play a key role in expanding (AVI)’s international cargo business.
Avianca (AVI) purchased Tampa Cargo (TMP) in 2008.
The order makes (AVI) the first Latin American operator to receive the A330-200F. AviancaTaca and its subsidiaries already operate seven A330-200 passenger airplanest and 81 A320 family airplanes.
“We are confident that these new A330F freighters will bring us greater fuel efficiency, lower operating costs and improved environmental performance,” said AviancaTaca Holdings (CEO) & Avianca President, Fabio Villegas.
The A330-200F can carry up to 70 tonnes of payload and has a maximum range of 4,000 nm. Eight A330-200Fs are now flying with four operators in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. To date, 61 freighter airplanes have been ordered by 10 customers.
October 2011: AviancaTaca is adding two key routes from its largest hub. Starting next month, it will connect Bogota to Rio de Janeiro with A330s and to La Paz in Bolivia with A319s. It already flies from Bogota to Sao Paulo.
E190-100AR (0482, N989TA), ex-(PT-TPH), delivery.
December 2011: Avianca (AVI)/Taca (TAC) had +19% passengers through first 10 months of 2011.
January 2012: (GE) Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS) (GEF), announced delivery of two new A320 airplanes to (TACA) Airlines (TAC) to help them with fleet growth.
The A320s come from (TACA) (TAC)’s existing order book with Airbus (EDS) and are part of a purchase-and-leaseback transaction with (GEF) announced in February 2010.
They will be operated by (TAC)’s subsidiary in Costa Rica, and will be joining a 44 airplane fleet that serves 51 destinations in 22 countries.
March 2012: Bogota-based, AviancaTaca Holding, parent of Avianca (AVI), (TACA) (TAC), Aerogal (ERG) and Tampa Cargo (TMP), reported 2011 net income of +$109 million, more than tripling a net profit of +$33 million in 2010.
The company did not provide many details, but it said full-year operating revenue rose +24.6% compared to 2010 to $3.8 billion. (EBITDAR) was $739 million, up +11.5% year-over-year.
AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) said it has approved, pending shareholder approval, a profit distribution that will pay $24.1 million to holders of common and preferred stock.
(CEO), Fabio Villegas told the "Los Angeles Times" that Colombia's "economy has taken a quantitative leap in investment, investor confidence and in radically improved security conditions. All that new business translates into a lot more passengers."
May 2012: Bogota-based, AviancaTaca Holding (AVI)/(TAC), parent of Avianca ((AVI), )TACA) (TAC), Aerogal (ERG) and Tampa Cargo (TMP), reported a first-quarter net profit of +$34.9 million, up +47.3% compared to the year-ago quarter.
Operating revenue climbed +22.7% to $1.02 billion.
(EBITDA) increased +18.9% to $96.1 million, while (EBITDAR) increased +24.3% to $167.6 million.
Boarding passengers grew +16% to 5.5 million, while capacity (ASK)s increased +13.8%. The consolidated results comprise subsidiary airlines in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Total domestic boarding passengers increased +23.5% to 3.1 million, while international traffic increased +7.5% to 2.4 million.
(AVI)/(TAC) in January firmed up an order for 33 A320neos and 18 A320 family airplanes.
(CEO), Fabio Villegas Ramirez said the results reflect efforts “to improve our operating performance and competitiveness” and that the goal “is to continue executing our strategic plan with a clear vision of being the leading airline in Latin America.”
The group reported 2011 net income of +$109 million, more than tripling a net profit of +$33 million in 2010.
June 2012: The merger of Colombia’s Avianca (AVI) and El Salvador’s Grupo (TACA) (TAC) into AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) has created higher than expected synergies.
Chairman, Roberto Kriete said at the Star (SAL) Alliance joining ceremony in Bogota that “60% to 70% of synergies” created by the merger have been implemented. “By the middle of next year, we will [have] completed our 100% target of synergies,” he said, noting the synergies “could be up to >30% more” than originally anticipated.
“Most of the big challenges [of] the merger [have been] completed. For example, the different cultures of the two companies are well harmonized,” he said.
Kriete expects Star (SAL) Alliance membership to create a global awareness of the (AVI)/(TAC) group brand. “We [are] thinking about extending our European services,” he said, possibly to Frankfurt or Paris. But the plan is on hold due to high fuel prices.
Kriete said the group will replace its 10 Fokker F 50s with either ATR or Bombardier (BMB) turboprops within the next year. Its five 767-200/300f freighters (operated by its subsidiary Tampa Cargo (TMP)) will be replaced by four A330-200Fs.
Avianca (AVI) expects delivery of its first 787 in April 2014. Three more should join the fleet later in the year, three in 2015, three in 2016, two in 2017 and three in 2019.
(AVI) operates a fleet of eight A330-200s, 25 A320s, 12 A319s, 10 A318s and 10 F 50s. (TACA) (TAC) has 18 A320s, 11 A319, five A321s and 12 E190s in its fleet.
Earlier this year, (AVI) firmed up an order for 33 A320neo and 18 A320 family airplanes, previously announced at the Paris Air Show.
July 2012: Rolls Royce (RRC) finalized an AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) order for (Trent 700)s for 4 A330-200Fs in a deal that includes TotalCare support.
August 2012: AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) Holdings reported a second-quarter net profit of +COP$8.8 billion/+$4.9 million, more than triple its year-ago profit.
The company said the second-quarter results “reflect the impact of adjustments in maintenance cost estimates and changes in the valuation methodology applied to frequent flyer miles.”
Second-quarter operating revenue was COP$1.8 trillion/$1 billion, up +12.9%.
(RPK)s grew +11.6%, while (ASK)s increased +9.6% as a result of the ongoing operating strategy of consolidating four main hubs respectively in Bogotá, Lima, San Salvador, and San José.
Five new routes and 19 new flights were added to the network in the period, while the company added one A319 and one A320 to the fleet. One 757 was removed from service. Load factor remained flat at 77.7% LF year-over-year.
First-half net income was +COP$71.6 billion and operating income grew +19.3% to +COP$126.2 billion.
Chairman, Roberto Kriete said in June that the merger of Colombia’s Avianca (AVI) and El Salvador’s Grupo (TACA) (TAC) into AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) created higher-than-expected synergies and by the middle of next year, it will complete the 100% target of synergies.
(AVI) and (TAC) joined the Star (SAL) Alliance in June.
September 2012: On August 23 & 24 respectively, (TACA) (TAC) commenced services from the Peruvian capital Lima (LIM) to Medellín (MDE) and Cali (CLO) in Colombia. Both routes are operated with E190s and neither faces direct competition. The only Colombian destination previously offered from Lima by (TACA) (TAC) and its sister airline Avianca (AVI) was the Colombian capital Bogotá, which continues to be served by both airlines with each 2x-weekly flights.
AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) has taken delivery of its 100th Airbus airplane, the 252-seat A330-200.
October 2012: The AviancaTaca group of airlines will unify all members under the single Avianca (AVI) brand name starting in the first half of 2013. Each member carrier will keep its own separate legal corporate status but will be authorized to do business under one brand name.
During the first stage, Avianca (AVI), Tampa Cargo (TMP) and the (TACA) (TAC) group of airlines ((TACA) International (TAC), Lacsa (LAC), (TACA) Peru (TPU) and Aviateca (AVT)) will adopt the single brand name in the 2013 first half. Aerogal (ERG) will join them in the second half.
Since the Avianca (AVI) and (TACA) group of airlines merged, it has implemented 45 new routes, increased (ASK)s by +37% and simplified its fleet by reducing it from 11 to four airplane family types. It also unified their respective frequent flyer programs into a single product, "LifeMiles" and joined the Star Alliance (SAL).
(CEO), Fabio Villegas Ramirez said, that in addition to the upgrade in infrastructure and technology and network expansion, the integrated member airlines have “simultaneously registered highly satisfactory results in domestic and international markets, as well as impressive customer satisfaction figures, which has facilitated growth and positive financial results.”
November 2012: AviancaTaca Holdings has posted a third-quarter net profit of +COP$101 billion/+$55.6 million, up +14.8% year-over-year, on revenues of COP$209.2 billion, up +3.5%. Operating profit was down -12% to +COP$209.2 billion, mainly due to fuel price hikes of +9.9%.
Capacity measured in (ASK)s increased +10.3% and is credited to a growth strategy and consolidation of the company’s four main hubs in Bogotá (BOG), Lima (LIM), San José and El Salvador. (RPK)s rose +9.1%, while passenger load factors fell -1.1% points to 81.8% LF.
Passenger numbers increased +13.6% to 6.1 million. Revenue increases were attributed to a +1.4% growth in ticket sales.
The group introduced five new city-pair services in the period, including (BOG) - Yopal, San Salvador (ZSA) - Cali (CLO), (ZSA( - Guayaquil, (LIM) - (CLO), and (LIM) - Medellín (MDE). Frequencies were also increased on several international routes, including (BOG) - Madrid, (LIM) - Santa Cruz de la Sierra, (LIM) - Caracas, (BOG) - (LIM).
Domestically in Colombia, 28 new weekly frequencies were added to (MDE) - Cartagena (CTG), seven to (MDE) - Cúcuta, 10 to (BOG) - (MDE), seven to (MDE) - (CLO), and five to (CLO) - (CTG).
The group phased out one A319 in the period and added one A330, two A319s and two A320s to its fleet.
Starting from 2013, the group brand name will be unified to "Avianca."
December 2012: (TACA) Airlines (TAC) will launch 4x-weekly, El Salvador - Medellin Embraer EMB-190 service on January 2.
Star (SAL) Alliance member AviancaTaca Airlines (AVI)/(TAC) is ready to fill the gap in Brazil if (TAM) Airlines (TPR) leaves the (SAL) alliance, as expected. Brazilian-based, (TAM) (TPR) merged with Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member (LAN) Airlines earlier this year, creating the (LATAM) Group.
(AVI)/(TAC) (CEO), Fabio Villegas Ramirez said (AVI)/(TAC) is working to tap more into Brazil, which he considers an “important market. It is difficult to operate there, but it is a market you have to be in.”
A top Star (SAL) Alliance executive said that (TAM) Airlines (TPR) will have to pay a $25 million fee to leave the (SAL) alliance.
The (AVI)/(TAC) group of airlines, which was formed from the merger of Colombia’s Avianca (AVI) and El Salvador’s Grupo (TACA) (TAC) into AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC), said it will unify all members under the single "Avianca" brand “by the second part of this year.”
Ramirez said the (AVI)/(TAC), which is expecting a +15% passenger year-over-year growth, has “the opportunity to be in one of the top markets in Latin America.” He said (AVI)/(TAC) will “increase frequencies and add new destinations” to counter the effects of the economic weakness of Europe and the USA. “You always have issues here [in Latin America], like increasing fuel prices, but we will be conservative to maintain our profitability.”
(GA) Telesis (ACE-M) was selected by (LATAM) Airlines (LAT)/(TAC) to manage its (C&E) parts needs.
The (AVI)/(TAC) group operates 150 airplanes. “We have 51 Airbus (EDS) airplanes and 15 Boeing (TBC) 787s on order and are planning to add new destinations in Europe, like London or Frankfurt,” Ramirez said.
The AviancaTaca group of airlines has placed a firm order for 15 ATR 72-600s, plus 15 options, in an order valued at $700 million. Delivery is scheduled to begin in June 2013.
The new airplanes, which will serve regional routes in Colombia and Central America, will replace Fokker F 50s and ATR 42s.
Avianca Airlines (AVI) will operate the new airplanes to destinations including Barrancabermeja, Florence, Manizales, Neiva, Pasto, Popayán, Tumaco and Yopal. (TACA) (TAC) will operate the ATRs into Guatemala City, Flores, Tegucigalpa, Roatán, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Managua, San José, and Liberia.
AviancaTaca was formed by the merger of Colombia’s Avianca Airlines (AVI) and El Salvador-based Grupo (TACA) under a single holding company.
The AviancaTaca group of airlines will unify all members under the single "Avianca" brand name starting in the first half of 2013. Each member carrier will keep its own separate legal corporate status but will be authorized to do business under one brand name.
January 2013: (Taca) (TAC) commenced flights on the 1,700 km route from San Salvador (SAL) to Medellín (MDE) in the north-western Colombian region of Antioquia, on January 2. 4x-weekly services to Medellín ((Taca) (TAC)’s third Colombian destination, after Bogotá and Cali, from San Salvador) are operated on the route using E190s.
(TAC) plans to send an A320-200 to Titan Airways (TIA) in the spring for wet-lease (ACMI) services.
(TAC) serves 20 countries, 47 destinations and 73 routes.
February 2013: (TACA) International Airlines ((IATA) Code: TA, based at San Salvador Cuscatlán International (SAL)) (TAC) as well as sister carrier (TACA) Costa Rica ((IATA) Code: LR, based at San José Juan Santamaría International (SJO)), (LAC), TACA Perú ((IATA) Code: TO, based at Lima Jorge Chávez International (LIM)) (TNM) and TAMPA Cargo ((IATA) Code: QT, based at Medellín José Maria Córdova International (MDE)) (TMP) are all expected to be rebranded as "Avianca" in June according to statements made by Avianca Colombia ((IATA) Code: AV, based at Bogotá El Nuevo Dorado International (BOG)) (AVI) said Chief Operating Officer (COO), Estuardo Ortiz. The rebranding of AeroGal ((IATA) Code: 2K, based at Quito Marsical Sucre (UIO)) (ERG) has been postponed until the end of the year or early 2014.
March 2013: AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) has reported a 2012 net profit of +COP$351.6 billion/$198.6 million, up +160.7% year-over-year, in unaudited results.
Operating revenue for 2012 was up +13.7% to COP$7.6 trillion and operating profit was +COP$506.8 billion.
Both, (ASK)s and (RPK)s increased +10.3%, as Avianca (AVI), Taca (TAC) and their subsidiaries reached a system passenger load factor of 79.6% LF. (AVI)/(TAC) said the results were mainly due to fleet enhancement and route network and improvement in the Bogotá, Lima, San Salvador and San José (Costa Rica) hubs.
In 2012, the group incorporated into its fleet, two A330s, four A319s, seven A320s and one A330F. In December 2012, (AVI)/(TAC) ordered 15 ATR 72-600s, plus 15 options.
Panama-based, AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) Holdings announced that is has selected the advanced technology (LEAP-1A) engines to power 33 A320neo family airplanes, in addition to ordering (CFM56-5B) engines to power an additional 18 A320ceo family airplanes. (AVI)/(TAC) has also opted for a comprehensive engine maintenance service package. The agreement has a total combined value of $2.7 billion at list price.
AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) also signed a 15-year, Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH)) agreement to support both the new (CFM56) and (LEAP) engine fleets under which (CFM) will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
Deliveries of the A320ceos are scheduled between 2014 and 2016, while the A320neos will be delivered in the 2017 to 2019 timeframe. The airplanes were originally announced in June 2011.
Avianca (AVI) has been a (CFM) customer since 2006 and currently operates a fleet of 66 (CFM56-5B)-powered A320 family airplanes. The airline merged with (TACA) (TAC) in 2010 to create one of the largest carriers in Latin America, transporting more than >30 million passengers in 2012. The new airplanes will be used for both fleet renewal and growth.
(LEAP) and (CFM56-5B) engines are products of (CFM) International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and (GEC). (CFM), the world’s leading supplier of commercial airplane engines, has delivered nearly 25,000 engines to date. The (LEAP-1A) has been selected to power more than >50% of all A320neo orders to date for which an engine selection has been announced. The (CFM56-5B) engine powers every model of the A320 family and has been chosen to power nearly 60% of all A320 airplanes in service or on order.
May 2013: Bogota-based, AviancaTaca Holdings reported a first-quarter net income of +$75.3 million, more than doubled from +$34.9 million in the year-ago.
AviancaTaca Holdings, created by the 2009 combination of Colombia’s Avianca (AVI) and El Salvador-based Grupo (TACA) (TAC), has formally rebranded itself Avianca Holdings and intends to integrate (TACA) (TAC) and its other airline subsidiaries under a single “Avianca” brand.
Other carriers in the group to move under the Avianca brand include Tampa Cargo (TMP), (TACA) Peru (TNM), Costa Rica-based Lacsa (LAC) and Ecuador-based Aerogal (ERG).
Avianca Holdings (CEO), Fabio Villegas said that “the single commercial brand represents a very important milestone.” The combined fleet of Avianca (AVI) and TACA (TAC) stands at 151 airplanes. “Currently, the ‘new Avianca’ (AVI) covers 100 destinations in 25 countries in the Americas and Europe through 5,100 weekly flights,” the company stated.
Avianca (AVI) said the new branding will “gradually” roll out, with its airplane fleet and other facilities moving toward a single visual brand. SEE PHOTO - - "TAC-2013-05 UNIFIED AVIANCA LIVERY A320."
July 2013: (TICOS) - Líneas Aéreas de Costa Rica (based at San José Juan Santamaría) (LAC) is the name of a new airline that has begun the process of certification and intends to take over the routes recently abandoned by TACA International Airlines (TAC) subsidary, (LACSA) Costa Rica ((IATA) Code: LR, based at San José Juan Santamaría) (LAC) after its complete merger with Avianca Colombia (AVI). According to Costa Rica's General Directorate of Civil Aviation (Dirección General de Aviación Civil - (DGAC)), a proposal outlining (LAC)'s plans has been submitted for consideration. (DGAC) sub-Director, Mr Alvaro Vargas, said "the new airline is in the process of preparing financial and feasibility studies, to operate three to five Airbus airplanes." Among the consequences on the Costa Ricans were the loss of 261 jobs as well as (TACA) (TAC)'s recent axing of direct flights from San José Juan Santamaría to Los Angeles International, New York (JFK), Havana International, Quito International and Guayaquil. According to Costa Rican press reports, the (DGAC) is now in the process of obtaining outside legal counsel to research and recommend sanctions against (TACA) (TAC).
August 2013: El Salvador’s Aeroman has begun using the Airbus Managed Inventory (AMI) service, an automated system to ensure prompt replenishment of high-usage and non-repairable Airbus (EDS) parts.
May 2015: See attached - - "TAC-Visit El Salvador" (Remember TACA International Airlines (TAC) is based there). Also see attached - - "TAC-Visit Chichicastenango, Guatemala.jpg and "TAC-Visit Antigua, Guatemala.jpg. I visited these places about twenty years ago. El Salvador and neighboring Guatemala is a living, breathing kaleidoscope. I was struck by how vibrant everything was: the greens of the highlands, the ochres and reds of the buildings in the city of Antigua (see photo), and the hues of the textiles, which change from village to village. There is so much culture there. In Santa Maria de Jesus, girls in full regalia pass by as everyone streams toward a festival in the main square. Ans at the biggest market in the country, Chichicastenango, the labyrinth-like passageways are lined with stalls selling handicrafts and street food. It is amazingly cheap to find accommodation there. Casa Palop, for instance, is a wonderfully romantic resort overlooking Lake Atitlan and a trio of volcanos.
March 2016: Lufthansa Systems (LHS) has expanded its cooperation with Avianca Holdings’ Avianca Colombia and the (TACA) (TAC) Group, which have renewed numerous contracts for commercial and operations solutions products. The renewed contracts include: the NetLine/Ops operations control solution, the NetLine/Crew crew planning tool, NetLine/Sched for optimizing flight schedules, Lido/Flight for flight planning, the SchedConnect code share management solution, and ProfitLine/Price for optimal pricing.
July 2016: "Flying with Avianca El Salvador (TAC) (formerly TACA International) in Central America" by Luis Linares, Airways Magazine Contributing Editor, July 1, 2016.
Avianca El Salvador (TAC) after merging with Colombia’s Avianca (AVI), traces its history back to 1931. Its hub is in San Salvador’s Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL), and (TAC) serves now 24 international destinations, eight of them in the small Central American region.
From this main hub, "Airways" had a chance to experience short hops to and from Guatemala City (GUA) and Belize City (BZE). Jump aboard with us on these quick flights, and see how the airline stacks up.
Avianca El Salvador is part of the Star (SAL) Alliance. I used my United Airlines (UAL) online account to purchase my tickets through a very simple process. (UAL) offered me full and discounted fares in economy (Y) and business class (C). One-way segments on economy (Y) started at $71 USD while business (C) started at $270 USD. I opted for the business (C) fares, which gave me a chance to experience (TAC)’s lounges.
* San Salvador to Guatemala City
I arrived at the airport two hours before my 20:15 evening departure. Although I used online check-in, I stopped by the self-service kiosks and ticket counters to get a feel for these options. The kiosks are quick and easy to use, and the check-in counter at (SAL) has two lanes, one for business (C) and elite frequent flyers and the other for economy (Y).
After security screening, I checked out shopping and dining options. The airport has several duty-free and souvenir options, and a variety of sit-down and fast-food restaurants. My business (C) class ticket entitled me to use Avianca (AVI)’s (VIP) lounge. The facility has plenty of drink and snack options, as well as small cooked meals. Other amenities include WiFi, a TV area, a resting and sleeping area with recliners, an open area with tables for dining, and desks for the use of electronics. For parents, the kids’ area is very useful to keep the little ones entertained. Compared to the lounges of mainline airlines in the USA, the lounge offers a superior product.
My aircraft for the 30-minute hop to Guatemala City was an Embraer E190. I opted for Seat 2A, a recliner with 37 inches/93 cm of pitch and 20 inches/51 cm in width. Business (C) Class on (AVI)’s E-Jets has a 1 + 2 seating arrangement, so I had no passenger next to me.
Boarding starts with those needing special assistance or more time to board, followed by business (C), and economy (Y) in groups. The process was very orderly and quick. Once aboard, a friendly flight attendant (CA) offered champagne, orange juice, or water, as well as a plate of warm nuts.
Economy (Y) Class has a 2+2 layout, which means no middle seat. (IFE) in business (C) class consists of a pop-up screen with various video, audio, and game options, plus a moving map display. Some of the options had a “coming soon” message since the E190 fleet is being retrofitted with this new technology to match the Airbus (EDS) narrow body fleet.
(AVI) uses the “banking” model in its San Salvador hub. This means there are waves of departures and arrivals three times per day consisting of about a dozen inbound and outbound flights within roughly a 45-minute period. San Salvador uses one runway, but there are rarely any long waits during taxi. We pushed back on time and were quickly airborne. The 30 minutes of flight time only allow for a quick drink service in both cabins, and we were descending just a few minutes after leveling off.
Arrival in Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport was uneventful. The airport has a terminal built in 2007, which is very comfortable and modern, and it is the hub for Avianca (AVI)’s regional ATR 72-600 fleet under the “Avianca Guatemala” brand, which was formerly known as Aviateca (AVT) (now Avianca Inter Regional). TACA (TAC) absorbed Aviateca (AVT) before its merger into Avianca (AVI).
* Guatemala to San Salvador
On the return flight to San Salvador, I decided to use the check-in counter. The agent was very courteous and efficient, and informed me that while Avianca (AVI) did not have its own lounge at the airport, I could use the independent “Los Añejos” lounge. At the lounge, one of the attendants (CA) offered to prepare a breakfast to me. Since I had eaten at the hotel, I politely declined, but this was definitely a nice option. I settled for a beer and got some work done on my tablet.
Boarding again was very quick and smooth. This time our aircraft was an Airbus A320. Every seat on the aircraft has (IFE) screens with the same options as the Embraer (EMB), except that these are fully operational. Once again, the welcome aboard for business (C) class consisted of drinks and nuts.
Departure was quick. With good weather, the majestic volcanoes near Guatemala City were clearly visible during departure. My business class seat had 38 inches (96 cm) of pitch, 22 inches (56 cm) in width, and a foot rest. This was another uneventful 30-minute “up and down” flight. Avianca uses its Airbus fleet for longer segments to North and South America, so the IFE options are enough to keep passengers entertained in both cabins.
San Salvador to Belize City
A week later I booked another flight on Avianca from its San Salvador hub, this time to Belize City’s Philip S W Gordon International Airport (286 miles/460 km) with a flight time of 50 minutes. I had a morning 8:35 flight and arrived at 7:00. After a quick check-in at the kiosk and a short security line, I went to (AVI)’s (VIP) lounge for breakfast. I had orange juice, yogurt, fried eggs, and toast.
Boarding was quick and efficient. I had Seat 2A on another A320. With a 45 to 50 minute flight, I had low expectations in terms of meal service. I would be in for a surprise. We pushed back after some welcome drinks and were quickly airborne. Even with the morning banked (AVI) rush, we were number three tor takeoff, which did not take long.
As I mentioned, I was surprised by the meal service on such a short flight. The flight attendant (CA) presented a tray consisting of quiche, bread, cheese, cold meats, and fruit. Had I not been full from breakfast at the lounge, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Considering the short duration of the flight, the crew (CA) did not rush anyone to finish. The service was rapid and efficient with a very friendly cabin staff.
Arrival in Belize City consisted of stair disembarkation since there are no jet bridges. I always enjoy the old-school deboarding experience, and the ramp had a Delta (DAL) Airbus A319 and a United (UAL) Boeing 737-800 loading up for Atlanta and Houston, respectively. The most common sight at the airport are Cessna Caravan’s operating for Belize’s two airlines, Maya Island Air and Tropic Air flying to nearby smaller cities and islands in the small country.
* Belize City to San Salvador
For my return to San Salvador, I showed up two hours ahead of our noon departure. After a quick check-in at the counter, which is handled by locally-contracted airport staff, I headed to the observation deck, which provided a view of the entire ramp. My Embraer E190 was already there, as well as an (AAL) A319 from Miami and the (DAL) and (UAL) flights I saw when I arrived. The buzzing of the Cessna Caravans inbound and outbound was constant.
Security was quick and the open waiting area has decent shopping and eating options. During my walk to my aircraft, I was able to get some good pictures of the other aircraft parked at the ramp, including mine. Another very friendly cabin staff greeted me. Pushback and takeoff were quick and provided great views of the coastline.
For this flight I saved my appetite. The captain (FC) predicted a 48-minute flight. This time the meal consisted of penne pasta, cheese, chicken breast, a roll, and chocolate cake. From the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage choices, I went with a soft drink.
I honestly was expecting an average service from (TAC), especially considering the short duration of these four segments. To my pleasant surprise, I was wrong. The flight (FC) and cabin crews (CA) in particular are very friendly and show their pride in the original Salvadoran airline (TAC) by welcoming us aboard Avianca (AVI) “operated by (TACA).”
During the last few years Avianca (AVI) has been busy integrating the original Avianca in Colombia (AVI) with AeroGal in Ecuador (ERG), and (TACA)’s subsidiaries in San Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Peru (TNM), and standardizing not just the liveries but all aspects of service under a single brand. Business (C) passengers will not be disappointed. While I did not seat in economy (Y), it was good to see the Airbus (EDS) fleet with an (IFE) screen in each seat, and the pitch is generous at 33 inches/84 cm.
I have flown short business (C) segments in the USA on (AAL), (DAL), and (UAL). On flights of similar duration, a drink and a small snack are the most likely option. The meals I had in Avianca El Salvador (TAC) clearly surpass the equivalent service in the USA. Finally, I expect passengers from other Star (SAL) Alliance airlines to have a good experience connecting in San Salvador. Avianca (AVI) ground staff assistance to (UAL), and Copa International (COP) passengers was friendly and seamless, and Star (SAL) Alliance business (C) and elite customers will not be disappointed by the (VIP) lounge as they wait for their next flight.
Click below for photos:
TAC A320 75
TAC-A320neo - 2012-01
TAC-A321-231 - 2012-05
0 737-2K5 (JT8D-17 HK) (763-22596, /81 N231TA; 833-22601, /82 N233TA), EX-(HAP). 22601 LST (LAC). WFU 2002-02. ST (COH) 2003-11. 22596; 22601; ST (AFD) 2004-05, LST (BAH). 8C, 111Y.
0 737-205 (JT8D-17A HK) (572-21729, /79 N240TA; 595-21765, /79 N235TA), EX-(CVL), 6 MTH WET-LST (SEZ) 2001-12. WFU 2002-02. ST (COH) 2003-11. 21729; 21765; ST (AFD) 2004-05. 8C, 111Y.
0 737-236 (JT8D) (1088-23171, N930PG), EX-(BAB), RTND (PSS).
0 737-296 (JT8D-17A HK) (675-22277, /80 N232TA), EX-(BRT), (ILF) LSD 1994-10, WFU 2002-02. GROUNDED. ST (COH) 2003-07. 22277 ST (AFD) 2004-05. 8C, 111Y.
0 737-300 (CFM56-3), 1 WET-LSD TO (FMA), 1 TO (VAR), 2 LST COLOR AIR, NORWAY (POSSIBLE 3RD) (26283; 26286; TO (ILF), GROUNDED. 3 WFU.
1 767-2S1 (CF6-80A) (141-23494, /86 N767TA), (ETOPS) EQ'PD, FOR SALE.
1 767-216 (142-23623, /86 N762TA), FOR SALE, GROUNDED.
0 767-3S1ER (384-25221, TO (CDI) 2000-06), (559-26608, /94 N769TA, (FSB) LSD, WET-LST (CDI), (ETOPS) EQ'PD.
0 A300B4-203F (101; 106; 107; 139; 140; 141; 142; 173), (CSV) LSD 1998-12, EX-(JHM) (N59106, N59107, N59140, B59142). 8 RTND.
14 +3/12 ORDERS A319-132 (V2524-A5) (1066, /99 N471TA; 1113, /99 N472TA; 1140, /99 N473TA; 1159, /00 N474TA; 1575, /01 N475TA; 1934, /03 N476TA; 1952, /03 N477TA; 2339, /04 N478TA; 2444, /05 N479TA; 2657, /05 N493TA; 2666, N494TA, 2006-01; 3057, N480TA, 2007-03; 3113, N496TA, 2007-04; 3248, N520TA, 2007-09; 3276, N521TA, 2007-10), 1 LST (LAC), 2 LST (LAB) 2001-10. 1159; WET-LST (VLS) 2006-01. 1159; RTND 2006-06. 1575; RTT VOLITO, LST (TPR) 2006-11. 1934; LST (TAM) 2012-07). 12C, 108Y.
51 ORDERS (2014-02) A320 INCLUDING 33 A320NEO (LEAP-1A):
2 A320-200, (GEF) LSD 2012-01. LST TACA COSTA RICA.
1 A320-214 (3378, N497TA), 2008-01.
3 A320-233 (2282, /04 N490TA; 2301, /04 N491TA; 2434, /05 N492TA), BNP PARIBAS LSD. 12C, 138Y.
14 +20 ORDERS A320-233 (V2527E-A5) (733, /97 N451TA; 741, /97 N452TA; 747, /97 N453TA; 874, /98 N455TA; 1300, /00 N461TA; 1334, /00 EI-TAD; 1339, /00 N463TA; 1353, /00 N464TA; 1374, /00 EI-TAF, W/0 2008-05 - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "TAC-ACCDT-2008-05/-A;" 1400, /01 N470TA; 1482, /01 N482TA; 1500, /01 N481TA; 1509, /01 N483TA; 1523, /01 N484TA; 1595; 1608; 1624; 1730, /02 N486TA; 1814; 1827; 2084, /03 N487TA; 2118, /03 N488TA; 2102, /03 N489TA; 2301, N491TA, 2004-11; 2494, N492TA; 2917, N493TA, 2006-10; 3042, 3103, N496TA, 2007-04; 3113; 3418, N498TA, 2008-03). (1374, N465TA; WET-LST (CUB) 2001-06). (460; 461; LST (LAC) 1999-09). 1733; NTU. 1007 RTND (PSS) 2003-08. 789 RTND (PSS) 2003-11. 461 RTND (DEA) 2003-12. 2282; 2301; 902; RTND (TCI) & 916 RTND (PSS) 2004-05. 874 LST (CUB) 2004-12. 1300 RF (ZUA) 2005-08. 1353; WET-LST (MTH) 2005-11. 1334; WET-LST (CUB) 2006-02. 1482; RTND 2006-05. 2118 HAS SPECIAL "75 ANOS" ON TAIL, 2006-06 - SEE PHOTO. 2791, N495TA, 2006-06. 1509; RTND 2006-06. 1339; RTND, & LST (TPR) 2007-05. 747; RTND, LST DONBASSAERO (UDC) 2008-04. 2084; TO TAME (TAM) 2008-10. 731; 1730; RTND 2009-03. 2118 RTND, LST IZAIR 2009-06. 1523; RTND 2009-09. 1400; 1523; RTND 2009-12. 12C, 138Y.
0 A320-233 (V2527E-A5) (558, /95 N981LR; 561, /95 N991LR), (DEA) LSD 1995-12, WET-LST (LAC). 561; LST (AZU) 2005-11. 558; RTND VOLITO LSG 2005-12, LST (AZU). 12C, 138Y.
2 A320-233 (V2527E-A5) (912, /98 EI-TAA; 1624, /01 EI-TAB "MENSAJERO DE ESPERANZA;" 1676, /01 EI-TAC; 1874, EI-TAE; EI-TAF, W/O CRASHED 2008-05 - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "TAC-ACCDT-2008-05/-A;" 3510, N499TA, 2008-06), (TCI) LSD. (912) WET-LST (CUB). 912 RTND. 1676; RTND (TCI) 2008-12. 12C, 138Y.
6 A321-231 (2553, N566TA, 2005-09; 2610, N567TA, 2005-11; 2687, N568TA, 2006-02; 2722, /06 N569TA,; 2862, N493TA, 2006-10; 3869, N570TA, 2009-04), 12C, 182Y.
4 ORDERS A330-200F (TRENT 700), FOR TAMPA CARGO (TMP) OPS:
1 ATR 42, 48Y.
7 +4/15 ORDERS E190 (0205, N935TA; 0259, N982TA, 2009-03; 0260, N983TA, 2009-03; 0273, N984TA, 2009-07; 0287, N985TA, 2009-12; 0360, N986TA, 2010-06; 0482, N989TA, 2011-10), 8C, 88Y.
Click below for photos:
TAC-1-FEDERICO BLOCH OBITUARYCEO
ROBERTO KRIETE, CHAIRMAN, TACA (TAC) CORPORATION & (AVI).
January 2011: After steering dramatic expansion and consolidation at TACA (TAC), Roberto Kriete kicked up a gear in 2009 when he engineered a merger with Avianca (AVI) - linking with another of Latin America's well-known aviation families, the Efromovichs.
The sound of a helicopter powering up blares from the mobile phone of Roberto Kriete. The long-time executive and owner of Central American airline grouping Grupo TACA politely excuses himself and, when he is ready to resume the interview, explains his unusual choice of ring tone. Kriete says aviation is in his blood, having dedicated 30 years to transforming (TAC) from a tiny flag carrier with three airplanes and an annual revenue stream of $35 million into an airline group that was generating $1 billion in revenues before its merger one year ago with Colombia's Avianca (AVI).
Kriete is also a private pilot. He spends his weekends flying a two-seat aerobatic airplane and twice-weekly takes the controls of his helicopter, which is parked on the roof of (TAC)'s headquarters in San Salvador.
When Avianca (AVI) CEO, Fabio Villegas is in town, Kriete sometimes takes Villegas out for lunch in the chopper. Having the two top executives of the new Avianca (AVI) - TACA (TAC) parent company flying together in a helicopter may seem risky, but for Kriete it is pure fun. As for work, Kriete cannot think of a better job than running an airline. "This is what I enjoy doing," he says. "The airline industry has been good to me."
Kriete recalls that when he first became involved in (TAC) in 1980, his family owned only a 20% stake, which was originally acquired by his grandfather Ricardo Kriete. Over the next three decades, the Krietes slowly grew their stake in (TAC) to 100% and established a consortium consisting eventually of eight carriers in seven countries. Kriete says he "has always been a supporter of consolidation" and knew that at some point it would make sense to pursue a tie-up with another Latin American airline group. In October 2009, Kriete chose German Efromovich as his partner. Efromovich owns Avianca (AVI), Avianca Brazil (ONE) - formerly Ocean Air (ONE) - and Ecuador's AeroGal (ERG).
The merger was completed at the end of January 2010, creating Latin America's fourth largest airline group after TAM (TPR), (LAN), and Gol (GOT). The new group says it generated more than >$3 billion in revenues in 2010 and carried 17 million passengers across its network of 128 cities with a fleet of 116 airplanes. These figures exclude AeroGal (ERG) and Avianca Brazil (ONE). For now, these fall under Efromovich's Synergy Aerospace, but they will eventually transfer to Avianca (AVI) - TACA (TAC). "We've already had a year of integration. We are moving forward and we just joined the Star (SAL) Alliance. It's going really, really well," says Kriete, who now serves as Chairman of (AVI) - (TAC) and is overseeing integration efforts with Villegas, who serves as CEO of the new parent company.
(AVI) and (TAC) have already identified $200 million in synergies, although Kriete expects even more once the integration process is completed in 2012. He says the merger is already generating "tons of synergies", but most of the $200 million will not be realized until the carriers merge their systems and processes.
Kriete says that bringing together reservations, passenger, accounting and revenue management systems are the tough parts of the integration. "We spent months and months just negotiating with the providers. We're pretty much at the end of the road, but implementing those systems will take 12 months at least, if not 18. You're going to get about half of the synergies in 2011 and about half of the synergies in 2012."
This year will see major milestones, including the merging of the (AVI) and (TAC) frequent flier program, which combined have almost four million members. (AVI) - (TAC) is also expected to select a single brand this year, although multiple operator certificates will be retained to meet regulatory requirements and it will be some time before the Avianca (AVI) or TACA (TAC) name disappears.
Kriete says that adopting a single brand is not worthwhile "unless all your passenger touch points and all your passenger perceptions are identical and you are really acting as a single carrier". He continues: "All your processes need to be merged - that's where the real detail of the integration is - and that probably won't be completed until 2012. It's really complicated, merging two entities like this. You need to dig deep; harmonize the entire company into a single entity and have one, well-designed and efficient process for everything. It's a good time to look at all the processes and really streamline."
Kriete's decision to pursue a merger with Avianca (AVI) was validated last August, when rival (LAN) unveiled plans to merge with TAM (TPR). (LAN) and (TPR), Latin America's two largest airline groups, expect to complete their merger in the second quarter of this year, creating a new parent company that will be more than triple the size of (AVI) - (TAC). But Kriete is not concerned about being outmuscled: he expects the (LAN) - (TPR) deal to be more challenging to complete.
Kriete points out that (AVI) and (TAC) were able to complete their merger in only four months because "we had no overlap and zero ownership restrictions". He claims that (LAN) and TAM (TPR) do not have this. "Look at the market shares between Brazil and Chile and Brazil and Argentina. Plus, you have ownership restrictions in Brazil that you didn't have in Colombia or Central America. The (LAN) - (TPR) deal depends very much on the government having the flexibility in accepting the [proposed ownership] structure." Kriete also warns that the deal still has to be approved.
Kriete and Villegas stress that (AVI) - (TAC) is not looking to respond to the (LAN) - (TPR) merger through further acquisitions. Instead, (AVI) - (TAC) is focused on its integration and preparing for Star Alliance membership in early 2012.
(AVI) - (TAC) believes the Star (SAL) alliance will give it the virtual network to succeed on a global scale without a large, long-haul operation. "Of course, (LAN) and (TPR) is a huge company, but this isn't only about size," Villegas says. "Size is important, but it doesn't make you successful. I think we can be successful with our size and with our strategy." Villegas warns against growing for the sake of it: "You can destroy a lot of value with that objective. If there are opportunities that will reinforce what we are doing and add value to our company and our customers, we'd be open to discuss that. But we don't have an objective to be the largest. That is not our main purpose. We want to be a very good airline, a very efficient airline, a very competitive airline in terms of service and with very competitive financial results."
In recent years, (AVI) has been consistently profitable, while (TAC) has been profitable or at worst broken even. They are confident of even higher profit margins once their integration is complete and could eventually pursue an initial public offering, an ambition (AVI) has had since Synergy acquired (AVI) in 2004.
The Efromovichs now own two-thirds of (AVI) - (TAC), while the Krietes own one-third, although the families have equal voting rights in the new parent company. German Efromovich and his brother Jose both sit on the (AVI) - (TAC) board and are active in helping Kriete and Villegas map out a strategy for the new company. But while Kriete has more than >30 years of airline experience and a deep passion for aviation in general, the Efromovichs are relative newcomers. "They are not airline people, so they are very happy to have me here," Kriete says. "They are entrepreneurs; they are not airline managers."
In one of its first joint tasks, (AVI) - (TAC) completed last year a new network plan that focuses future growth on three main hubs. San Salvador is being positioned as the group's main hub for connecting Latin America with North America, while Lima will cater more towards intra-Latin America traffic. Growth in Bogotá, the only hub in the group that now has wide bodies, will be driven mainly by increased local demand, although some intra-Latin America connections will also be pursued.
Some have questioned this multi-hub strategy and (AVI) - (TAC)'s ability to compete against Panama's Copa (COP), which has become the leader in intra-Latin America traffic by focusing growth on a single hub. (COP) executives have repeatedly claimed that all three of (AVI) - (TAC)'s hubs are expected to remain constrained, while there will be plenty of room for further growth at Panama City following the completion of a major airport expansion project there later this year. Kriete is highly complimentary of Copa (COP), saying its hub "is tremendous and has done wonders for Panama". But he sees an increasing role for El Salvador and is confident it will ultimately pursue long overdue expansion of its only international airport.
"I think the (COP) organization has done a wonderful job in persuading the [Panamanian] government that what is good for (COP) is good for Panama and what is good for Panama is good for (COP). So they allow (COP) to not only participate in the process of decision-making but in the decision making itself," Kriete says. He adds that in El Salvador "we haven't had that. We're trying to get the government of El Salvador to expand the airport. We're at a limit right now. They already have a master plan and I think they will go forward with it. It's a wholly owned subsidiary of the government, so they have the wherewithal and the cash flow to do it."
Kriete says now is the time to pursue expansion in San Salvador because traffic has just recovered to 2008 levels after dropping in 2009. In Bogota, airport expansion is already under way, but Kriete acknowledges that not enough is being done to resolve the bottleneck. "The problem we're seeing in Bogota is that the growth has been so fast that the minute they finish the terminal, it will be not enough already. It will be too little too late," Kriete says. "Right now, we're suffering the consequences. We've got a lot of delays, we've got a lot of waiting times for take-offs and gates. It's a typical congested airport."
As the President of Latin American airline association (ALTA), Kriete is now leading a push to persuade the region's governments to increase their investment in aviation and tackle the growing infrastructure challenges. "They still feel aviation is something for the wealthy when it has really become a tremendous driver of progress," he explains.
"Aviation generates a tremendous amount of employment and commerce. The cost of aviation [flying in Latin America] has dropped over >-40% in the last 30 years, so it's become much more affordable and we get treated almost as if we are tobacco and firearms with the level of taxation." He urges governments to re-invest their aviation income into the sector. "The infrastructure problem in Latin America is probably the biggest bottleneck for growth in the industry," he observes.
Kriete adds that most Latin American governments do not understand aviation and what a hub can do for a country. "Our challenge is to make sure they are aware what repercussions it has. It's about explaining to them how they shouldn't be killing the chicken for the golden egg."
While promoting airport expansion, (ALTA) and Kriete are also campaigning against unreasonably high airport charges. (ALTA) has long complained that airports in Latin America are abusing their monopoly powers and overcharging airlines. "What is the best business you can get into? It's a well-run airport. What is the second best business you can get into? It's a poorly run airport," Kriete jokes. So why, then, did he decide to get into the airline business rather than airports? Kriete responds: "I would be really, really bored running an airport. It's like running a shopping center. It's nothing. It's just a piece of real estate. It's less complicated than running a hotel."
Kriete is very happy working long hours, putting together the new (AVI) - (TAC), while also finding the time to lead (ALTA), his family's investment firm and a non-profit foundation. But he expects to eventually give in to his wife's request to slow down. "We're working really hard to integrate it into a single entity. That requires a lot of support from myself as ex-(CEO) of (TAC), a lot of support from Fabio, and a lot of support from German. Once that phase is completed, I'll be 60 and I will look forward to doing other things," Kriete says. "I expect to still be very involved but just not as involved and not as active as I am right now."
After nearly 25 years with TACA (TAC), Roberto Kriete took over as (CEO) in 2004 from the late Federico Bloch, who tragically was murdered just days after stepping down. Bloch and Kriete, who was already (TAC) Chairman when he took over as (CEO), met while studying in the USA and together built the (TAC) consortium. But Kriete initially maintained a low profile, choosing to let Bloch make most public appearances.
He also has been a relatively low-profile leader of the Latin American airline association (ALTA), but has quietly done significant work for the association, especially in the field of safety. In November, Kriete began his third one-year term as (ALTA) President. Already busy with the Avianca (AVI) integration, Kriete says that (ALTA) is like a family and he points to the hard work being done by (ALTA) Executive Director, Alex de Gunten: "Alex is like the (CEO) and my role is more a Chairman role. Alex and his team execute very well."
Roberto Kriete is also a co-founder and board member of Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris (VLS). The Krietes acquired 25% of Volaris (VLS) before its 2006 launch and provided expertise during its launch phase. Several (VLS) executives are ex-TACA (TAC), including its (CEO), Enrique Beltranena, who was formerly (TAC)'s Chief Operating Officer (COO). While the two carriers earlier considered forging a code share and operational tie-up, this never materialized and for now, Volaris (VLS) is focusing on its new partnership with Southwest Airlines (SWA). Kriete says there is no consideration to bring (VLS) into the new Avianca (AVI) - TACA (TAC). Volaris (VLS) operates 26 A320 family airplanes - the same type that form the backbone of (AVI) - (TAC)'s fleet. (VLS) does not yet fly to Central or South America and is planning to grow its USA network in 2011.
The Grupo Kriete Investment Company also owns stakes in real estate, agribusiness and hospitality companies.
FABIO VILLEGAS RAMIREZ, EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT (AVIANCATACA HOLDING SA) & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) (2010-02) & PRESIDENT OF AVIANCA (AVI).
ALFREDO SCHILDKNECHT, PRESIDENT (TAC) (2000-05).
ESTUARDO ORTIZ, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO), RESIGNED (2017-01).
Estuardo resigned to become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JetSMART (JSM) based in Santiago Chile.
JOSE ROJAS, VP & GENERAL MANAGER, (TAC).
GERARDO GRAJALES, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO) (AVI)/(TAC) (2009-10).
JOAQUIN PALOMO, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO) (TAC).
CAPTAIN ARTURO ALVARADO, CHIEF OF TRAINING.
JULIO FLORES, VP CARGO (1998-10).
JORGE SOLARES, VP OPERATIONS.
RICHARD KROMKA, VP FINANCE.
ROBERTO CARBONE, VP MARKETING & SALES.
MARK KUHNS, VP REGIONAL AIRLINES.
ERNESTO RUIZ, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) AEROMAN (SALMDTA) & VP MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (2000-04).
ENRIQUE ODIO, DIRECTOR REGION AIRPORTS (1998-03).
ROBERTO MADRIGAL, DIRECTOR LINE MAINTENANCE, AEROMAN (EX-(LAC) (1998-05).
GERRARDO ALFARO, DIRECTOR HANGAR MAINTENANCE/SHOPS, AEROMAN (2000-09).
IGNACIO FERNANDEZ, DIRECTOR QUALITY CONTROL (QC) & TECHNICAL SERVICE, AEROMAN (SALMETA). (firstname.lastname@example.org) (email@example.com).
MAURICIO MACHADO, DIRECTOR QUALITY CONTROL (QC) AND TECHNICAL (MIA)
(firstname.lastname@example.org) (SALMDTA) (2000-09).
JUAN CARLOS SOLIS, DIRECTOR QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA), AEROMAN.
OSCAR PRIETO, DIRECTOR COMMERCIAL.
GUILLERMO BRAN, ALLIANCES DIRECTOR, AVIANCA TACA.
MAURICIO MORAN, MANAGER FLIGHT OPERATIONS (email@example.com) (SALOTTA)
MIGUEL MOJICA, SAFETY OFFICER (SALOTTA) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CARLOS LOPEZ, MANAGER QUALITY CONTROL (QC), AEROMAN.
ARTURO SARAVIA, MANAGER MAINTENANCE PLANNING, (1996-10).
JOSE ERNESTO ALVAREZ, MANAGER HANGAR MAINTENANCE AEROMAN.
SALVADOR CARRILLO, MANAGER LINE MAINTENANCE, AEROMAN.
CARLOS GIRON, MANAGER OVERHAUL SHOPS, AEROMAN.
JUAN CARLO FLORES, MANAGER ENGINEERING, AEROMAN (1998-05).
MARIO CHAWN, HANGAR MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR, AEROMAN.
LUIS GIACOMAN, CHIEF TECHNICAL SUPPORT (1999-01).
JOSE MIGUEL RIVERA, SUPERVISOR TECHNICAL INFORMATION.