Currently, the Latin American carrier offers customers seven different options when booking cargo shipments. They range from standard freight to pharma, valuables, or courier/mail solutions, among others. In future, three new speed service levels will round off the carrier’s portfolio: Priority, Standard, and Standby. At the same time, Avianca and Colombia's Viva Air are stepping up efforts to merge, despite the regulator's objections so far.
Avianca’s new product initiative is designed to meet customer expectations for tailored cargo services, the airline announces in a release. “In Avianca Cargo, we continue transforming our business focused on improving our customer's experience,” states Leonel Ortiz, Development Cargo Director, Avianca Cargo. The manager goes on to say: “We want to offer our clients different solutions for them to fly their cargo as needed - a simpler product portfolio, and speed levels designed to adjust and improve operations based on the requirements of the industry, along with all our specialized products such as pharma and fresh that were recently certified under the IATA CEIV Program.”
In a nutshell: faster, better, simpler, is the management’s credo behind the product setup now introduced. The different speed levels offered, including price variations, are very transparent and allow customers to choose the best fit according to their individual transport requirements, commented a Latin American market expert when asked by CargoForwarder Global to deliver an assessment.
And here is how Avianca describes the new products in its announcement:
Priority guarantees the shipments on booked flights, ideal for urgent shipments of products such as pharma, perishables, valuables, human remains, and live animals.
Standard is a balance between urgency and cost, perfect for the day-to-day shipment of products:
Standby is a cost-effective solution designed for general cargo with flexible delivery times.
According to Gabriela Sarmiento, Communications Coordinator Avianca Cargo, the new services have been rolled out already, enabling customers to select the most convenient solution for their shipments. Further to this she emphasizes that they are available across the carrier’s entire network and not restricted to selected routes for testing the market reaction.
At the same time as the service announcement, Avianca and budget carrier, Viva Air Colombia, have appealed to the Colombian competition watchdogs following their denial of the merger intended by the two airlines. In their appeal, they proposed steps to abandon some routes, offering them to competitors.
A merger agreement had already been reached in APR22, but Colombia’s aviation regulator intervened and turned down the deal, arguing that the merger is not of public interest and would distort competition.
In return, Avianca has now offered to reduce operations at El Dorado airport in Bogota, and to scale down its own operations there. The airport is Colombia’s largest in terms of passenger numbers and cargo throughput, and it is fully powered by green energy thanks to 20,369 solar panels installed on the roofs of its facilities.
In addition to what is mentioned above, Avianca also assured to maintain Viva’s brand and its low-cost model (“Súper Bajo Costo”). Compared to Avianca, Rionegro, Colombia-headquartered Viva is a midget. It operates a fleet of 23 aircraft but has placed orders for 50 more of which 14 will arrive in 2023. Currently, it employs about 1,000 staff. In contrast, Avianca’s fleet consists of 130 aircraft, including freighters, and the company employs 12,000 staff.
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