Former Avianca owner wants to buy Colombian airline for a dollar

Germán Efromovich, who today controls Aeroitalia, would have proposed to businessman William Shaw to stay with Ultra Air, which recently suspended operations

An unusual interest in the Colombian low-cost airline Ultra Air emerged last week, Germán Efromovich. The businessman born in Bolivia, but with several nationalities, sent a letter to the owner of the company offering the symbolic value of one dollar to buy it.

Ultra Air suspended its flights at the end of March due to debts estimated at US$ 22 million. The airline even had a purchase proposal by the Chilean JetSmart, but that was withdrawn a week after the announcement.

According to reports, William Shaw, founder of Ultra Air, would have rejected the offer, waiting for interested parties who are willing to pay a real amount for the airline, which operated on domestic routes in Colombia with six Airbus A320s.

Efromovich’s possible return to the Colombian air travel market would be a response to the departure of the businessman from Avianca, which he headed for several years.

Germán and his brother José Efromovich acquired Avianca in 2004 when the oldest South American airline was struggling.

The businessman Germán Efromovich: offer for Alitalia while leaving Avianca Brazil almost bankrupt (Cruks/Wikimedia)


The group grew and in the meantime the brothers launched OceanAir in Brazil, an airline that would later use the name “Avianca Brasil”, although the two companies had no direct connection.

In 2010, Avianca took over TACA, an El Salvador airline, which was managed by businessman Roberto Kriete and remained in the group as a minority shareholder.

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After failing to repay a loan due to United Airlines, Efromovich was removed from the board and later from the Avianca partnership. In 2019, Avianca Brasil, also in crisis, went bankrupt, leaving a trail of debts.

Not satisfied, the businessman tried to acquire Alitalia and without success, he founded a new airline in the country, Aeroitalia, which today operates routes with four Boeing 737-800s.

Avianca is currently managed by Kriete and is trying to acquire Viva Air, a low cost airline also founded by Willian Shaw and which, after financial problems, stopped flying just over a month ago.

Aeroitalia Boeing 737-800


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