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Linking Europe and Colombia

Monday, February 10, 2014


Tourism companies, regional airlines, airport operators and other service companies might want to prepare for increased connections between Europe and Colombia.

So might Panama-based Copa Airlines, which could be affected by new competition, as Avianca seeks growth in Europe.

Bogota-based Avianca as of July 3 will fly four times weekly between London Heathrow and El Dorado International.

Meanwhile, German Efromovich, Avianca’s main shareholder, is interested in buying either Italy’s Alitalia or Poland’s LOT, or doing a start-up.

A European-based airline could be a base for delivering passengers to Colombia, and from there to Ecuador, Perú and Central America.

There is room for growth in air travel between the continents.

The second-biggest airline in Latin America, Avianca currently has no European connections, aside from Madrid and Barcelona.

Chile-based LATAM, the continent’s biggest air carrier, has only seven European destinations.

If Avianca’s European plan succeeds, Copa could face increased competition.

On the other hand, Panama’s Tocumen International currently is the hub of the Americas, with more flights to destinations in Central and South America, along with the Caribbean, than any other other airport in the hemisphere.