Colombia’s Avianca reported a $13 million profit in the first quarter, reversing last year’s $12 million loss for the first three months of the year.

The Bogota-based carrier said on 30 April that revenue during the three months ended 31 March reached $1.27 billion, up more than 16% on the same period in 2023. Passenger revenue alone rose to $786 million, from $631 million last year.

Operating profit, or EBITDAR, came in at $272 million, up 39% from $233 million in the same period of 2023, while the EBITDAR margin remained stable at 21.5%.

“We continue to deliver strong results in a quarter that is not one of the strongest of the year,” says chief executive Frederico Pedreira.

It was the first set of results under Pedreira, who rose to the role of chief executive in January.


Source: Avianca

Avianca turned a first-quarter loss into a profit of $13 million this year

“In the first quarter, we introduced a new, more simplified and flexible fare scheme that allows our customers to fly according to their needs, and we continued to expand our network and improve our connectivity with the launch of new routes, including the reopening of Bogota-Paris, after 20 years, as well as Bogota-Montreal,” he adds.

Total operating expenses rose 15% to $1.13 billion, including a 16% rise in jet fuel costs. Capacity, as measured in available seat miles, rose 26%.

However, revenue at the company’s cargo segment fell 8.3%, to $152 million “due to continued market softening”. That said, the airline says it still led the flower market from Colombia to the USA during Valentine’s Day season in February, operating more than 300 cargo flights from Colombia and Ecuador, and transporting about 18,000t of flowers.

In the third quarter, “we expect a significant improvement in efficiency from an operational and cost standpoint” Pedreira says.

That is because the carrier will begin re-fleeting its cargo operation, adding four A330-300 converted freighters from 15 June.

The airline’s first reconfigured Boeing 787 Dreamliner joined the fleet two weeks ago, and a second aircraft is expected in May, Pedreira says. The widebodies now have 291 seats each, 16% more than previously. All 13 of the airline’s 787s will have the denser configuration by year-end.

Avianca’s load factor during the first quarter rose just over one percentage point to 81.4%, and the airline transported 9.3 million passengers, up 37% from last year.

The airline ended the quarter with 158 aircraft in its fleet, unchanged from the end of 2023, and it expects five more aircraft to be delivered this year.