RIO DE JANEIRO — Avianca Brasil has cancelled more than 1,045 domestic flights this week and according to reports has just seven planes still in its fleet.
The airline announced back in December 2018 that it was filing for bankruptcy protection with debts of US$127 million. Flights have continued to operate, however the airline’s network has been shrinking. Avianca Brasil has already pulled the plug on its direct flights from New York and Miami to Sao Paulo (GRU).
This week’s wave of cancellations came about after Avianca Brasil was forced to return 18 aircraft to leasing agencies. Brazil’s National Aviation Agency said the planes needed to be returned Monday to avoid affecting Holy Week holiday passengers. Customers can either get refunds for cancelled flights or rebook through partner airlines.
In a notice to the trade, Avianca says “Dear friends, we would like to inform you that we are taking all necessary measures to guarantee the continuity of our business and in view of a possible reduction in our fleet, in order to minimize the impact for both our operations and our passengers, we have decided to proceed as follows: immediate sale closure of various flights; and cancellation of flights.”
A list of impacted flights is at avianca.com.br. Travellers can check up to 72 hours in advance. The long list, at avianca.com.br, includes flights that were scheduled to operate April 23 – 28.
With files from The Associated Press