The struggling airline Viva Air, from Colombia, won another suitor, LATAM Airlines. The Chilean group announced that it had sent a letter to the president of the low-cost company confirming its intention to make a proposal to take over it.
The Viva Air-Avianca merger, however, is going through a difficult stage after Aerocivil, Colombia’s civil aviation authority, ended the first integration process between the two carriers.
After sending the documentation in August and asking Aerocivil for agility, Avianca and Viva Air revealed that the financial situation of the second was serious.
Despite the pressure, the civil aviation agency denied the merger claiming that there would be a huge market concentration, which would be reflected in less competitiveness and harm to passengers. In December, Aerocivil ended the process, which had to be reopened in early 2023.
Now, Aerocivil says it is analyzing the new proposal, but without a deadline to present its opinion. Meanwhile, Viva Air filed a restructuring process in the Colombian court.
“The company has not been able to access capital during the last nine months since it has not yet been able to finalize its merger with another airline, which is still pending authorization from the National Government,” said Viva.
Strengthen its operations in Colombia
In a statement, LATAM said that its Colombian division, LATAM Airlines Colombia, “would be the best option to strengthen the conditions of the free market, as well as offer the necessary support to respond to the financial situation of Viva Air Colombia and its creditors, ultimately resulting in the strengthening of the Colombian airline industry”.