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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Viva Wants To Fly To Brazil, Chile, And Costa Rica

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The Colombian low-cost carrier Viva is looking to expand its international reach. On July 14, Viva filed a document seeking authorization from the Colombian civil aviation authorities to launch flights to Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica. If approved, those could become the fifth, sixth, and seventh international destinations of the carrier. Let’s investigate further.

Viva Air Colombia
Viva is planning to operate many international routes from Medellin International Airport. Photo: Viva

Where does Viva fly currently?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Viva has been growing quickly in Colombia (formerly Viva Air). The airline is now competing directly with Avianca and LATAM, despite having a smaller fleet.

Viva uses Medellin as its hub, and from there, it currently operates many domestic routes and a few international ones.

According to Cirium’s database, Viva currently operates six international routes to three countries. These routes are from Bogota to Lima (Peru) and Mexico City (Mexico) and from Medellin to Cancun (Mexico), Lima, Orlando (US), and Miami (US).

Viva has up to 47 international flights per week, offering 8,460 seats, using its Airbus A320 family fleet.

Nevertheless, Viva has bigger plans in mind. The airline aims to use its Medellin hub as a sort of low-cost hub-and-spoke model. Viva sees Medellin’s geographical location as an advantage point to connect with all of Latin America.

Viva A320neo
Viva plans to fly to Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica. Photo: Viva

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Where does it want to fly?

On June 22, we reported that Viva had set its goal to establish two direct routes between Bogota and Medellin to Buenos Aires, Argentina. If those flights are launched, Argentina would become Viva’s fourth international destination. We are saying if because Argentina is almost completely closed at the moment, and there seems to be no indication when it will reopen its borders for international travel.

Additionally, Viva has its eyes set upon nearly 15 international routes, which could start in the next three years.

And now, we know more about Viva’s plans.

On July 14, the airline filed a document seeking authorization to launch six new international routes. These flights would be:

  1. Medellin-Santiago de Chile. One daily flight
  2. Bogota-Santiago de Chile. One daily flight
  3. Medellin-Sao Paulo Guarulhos. One daily flight
  4. Medellin-Rio de Janeiro Galeão. One daily flight
  5. Bogota-Sao Paulo Guarulhos. One daily flight
  6. Medellin-San José (Costa Rica). One daily flight.
Viva International map
This is how Viva’s international map would look if it launches all the routes it plans. Photo: Great Circle Mapper.

What competition would it face?

If the Colombian government approves Viva routes (which is the likeliest), the Colombian carrier would be the only operator in a few of them.

According to Cirium, currently, there are flights to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, and San Jose, but most of them are from Bogota. There’s also a flight between Cali and Santiago, operated by JetSMART.

Avianca flies from Bogota to São Paulo, Santiago, and San José; JetSMART flies from Santiago to Bogota and Cali; LATAM flies from Bogota to São Paulo and Santiago, and Wingo operates between Bogota and San José.

Therefore, Viva would face zero competition on all the routes it plans to operate from Medellin.

A little about Viva

Viva currently has a fleet of 18 aircraft in Colombia, according to ch-aviation. In Peru, it has four units. The airline uses an all-Airbus A320 family fleet.

Viva plans to increase its number of aircraft to 50 by 2025, according to its CEO, Felix Antelo.

Currently, the airline is offering 746 flights per week, with 134,280 seats available, according to Cirium. Compared to July 2019, that’s a 12.2% increase.

Have you ever flown with Viva? Let us know in the comments.

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