It is slated to receive its first 787-8 in October 2014 and plans to base the 787s in San Salvador, Lima and Bogota. Villegas says the 10 A350-900s ordered by parent Synergy Aerospace will not be operated by Avianca. And the proposed Boeing 777X “is too big for us,” he says.
Europe is one target of Avianca's long-haul expansion. The airline is introducing twice-daily services from Bogota to Madrid and is eager to start services to London's Heathrow Airport. A lack of suitable slots there is keeping the plan on hold for now.
The first of 33 A320NEOs is to arrive in 2017, so Avianca is taking delivery of more “Sharklet”-equipped A320s to bridge the gap. In spite of the generally poor economics of the A318, Avianca plans to hold on to the aircraft for “as long as possible,” Villegas says.