Yet another Colombian airline has ceased operations, Ultra Air. The ultra-low-cost carrier has announced the suspension of its flights from March 30.
The end of the services comes days after the company revealed a capital injection to keep it in operation.
Ultra Air started operations in February 2022 and has a fleet of six first-generation Airbus A320s. It was launched by businessman William Shaw, who also founded Viva Air, another airline that stopped flying for financial reasons.
Ultra Air’s situation, however, is peculiar. Earlier this year, the company offered to acquire Viva amid the problems of the merger with Avianca, which had been blocked by Aerocivil, Colombia’s civil aviation authority.
Weeks ago, however, JetSmart, a Chilean low-cost company that belongs to the Indigo Partners group, announced a letter of intent to take over Ultra Air. Days later, the company revised the plans and withdrew the offer.
Last week, Colombia’s Superintendence of Transport announced that it would monitor the situation at Ultra Air, which had suspended ticket sales on March 23.
Four days later, the carrier reopened sales of its flights after revealing that it had received a capital contribution from its shareholders.
Colombia’s air travel market has been expanding, with the emergence of low-cost airlines, but the blow caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has weakened the finances of most of them, including Avianca.
The Colombian government now has two weakened carriers in its hands. Viva depends on a now unlikely takeover by Avianca while Ultra Air looks like it won’t get a second chance.