Avianca Brazil receives its first two Airbus A318s

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Avianca Brazil, the Brazilian corporate sibling of Colombia's Avianca-Taca, has received the first two of 15 Airbus A318 jets targeted to replace its current fleet of ageing Fokker F100 jets.

According to an Airbus spokeswoman, Avianca Brazil is receiving the Pratt & Whitney PW6122A powered aircraft directly on lease from Airbus. It will receive them at a rate at five aircraft per year, as they become available from its previous operator, LAN.

An Avianca source says that the aircraft will completely substitute Avianca Brasil's Fokker 100 fleet of 15 aircraft on a one-by-one basis, adding about 20% extra seating capacity and a higher daily utilisation rate, allowing therefore the airline to grow with the same number of aircraft.

Avianca Brasil is owned by Bogota-based Synergy, which also holds 67% of Avianca Taca. Avianca Taca is also substituting its own Fokker 100 fleet with 10 ex-Mexicana Airbus A318s, leased from GECAS and powered with CFM56 engines.

Once the incorporation of the A318 is completed at both airlines in the group, it will be the world's largest scheduled airline operator of the type.