Avianca Review

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About Avianca

Avianca S.A. (acronym in Spanish for Aerovias del Continente Americano S.A., “Airways of the American Continent”) is a Colombian airline. It has been the flag carrier of Colombia since December 5, 1919, when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Colombia, with its registered office in Barranquilla and its global headquarters in Bogotá and main hub at El Dorado International Airport. Avianca is the flagship of a group of ten Latin American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one airline using a codesharing system. Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia and second largest in Latin America, after LATAM of Chile. Avianca and its subsidiaries have the most extensive network of destinations in Latin America. Prior to the merger with TACA in 2010, it was wholly owned by Synergy Group, a South American holding company established by Germán Efromovich and specialising in air transport. It is listed on the Colombia Stock Exchange.


Through SCADTA, Avianca is the world’s second oldest extant airline after KLM, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in December 2019. It is the oldest airline in the Western Hemisphere. It became an official member of Star Alliance on June 21, 2012, after a process that lasted approximately 18 months from the initial announcement of its invitation to join the alliance. On May 10, 2020, Avianca filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a court in New York City, and liquidated its subsidiary Avianca Perú, becoming one of the major airlines to have filed for bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Flying with Avianca

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Is Avianca a good airline and Safe to fly?|Review & Amenities Is Avianca a good airline and Safe to fly With Colombian airline Avianca S.A. is based in Bogota. It has served as Colombia’s flag carrier since 5 December 1919, when it was first registered as SCADTA. It is based in Bogotá, D.C., with El Dorado International Airport as its primary hub. Avianca is the flag carrier of a group of eight Latin American airlines that use a code sharing arrangement to operate as a single entity. Avianca is Colombia’s major airline and Latin America’s second-largest after LATAM of Chile.Is Avianca a good airline? After KLM, Avianca, the world’s second-oldest airline, marked its 100th anniversary in December 2019 through SCADTA. It is the Western Hemisphere’s oldest airline. It became a formal member of Star Alliance on June 21, 2012, following an 18-month process that began with the announcement of its request to join the alliance.What is the rank of Avianca Airlines?Is Avianca a safe airline? Avianca has been awarded a 3-Star rating for the quality of its airport and onboard products, as well as its customer service. Seats, amenities, food and beverages, IFE, cleanliness, and other aspects of the product are rated, while service is rated for both cabin and ground crew.Why should you choose Avianca Airlines?Make your flight unique:You select the fare that best suits your flying preferences, and we guarantee the same price from beginning to end.Shop with confidence:On our digital channels, you may book with confidence. We use security certifications to keep your personal information safe.Take control of your reservation:Manage your reservation from any device, on the web, or through the App, for a faster and more personalized experience.Various payment options:On and the Avianca App, you can pay in the most convenient way for you.Make a reservation:Check-in from any device, web, or app, and promptly obtain your boarding pass so you can fly.Accumulate miles:When you buy flights, you earn miles that you may use to buy tickets or items, depending on the fare you choose.

What kind of planes does Air Avianca Airlines use?

Airbus A330, 8: Characteristics

  • Ideal for medium and long-distance travel.
  • 880 kilometers per hour is the cruise speed.
  • Service Ceiling: 12500 meters is the maximum height.
  • 47000 kg of payload capacity.
  • There are 30 Business Class seats and 222 Economy Class tickets available.

15 A321 Airbus: Characteristics

It emits the least amount of pollution, produces the least amount of noise, and consumes the least amount of gasoline. The load capacity is estimated to be 5188 kg.

  • 846 kilometers per hour is the cruise speed.
  • Customer service Ceiling height: 12100 meters is the highest point on the planet.
  • 24200 kg of payload capacity.
  • There are 12 Business Class tickets and 182 Economy Class tickets available.

Airbus A320 (ninety-seven): Characteristics

A plane that takes off from sea level and is efficient, silent, and environmentally friendly, with a load capacity of around 6300 kilos.

  • 828 kilometers per hour is the cruise speed.
  • Customer service Ceiling height: 12131 meters is the highest point on the planet.
  • 17600 kg of payload capacity.
  • There are 12 Business Class seats and 138 Economy Class tickets available.

25 A319 Airbus: Characteristics

It has a load capacity of 4700 kilos when launched from sea level.

  • 828 kilometers per hour is the cruise speed.
  • Service Ceiling: 12131 meters is the maximum height.
  • 15300 kg of payload capacity.
  • There are 12 Business Class seats and 108 Economy Class tickets available.

15 ATR-72 aircraft: Characteristics

Regional and short-haul aircraft with a maximum capacity of 74 passengers.

  • 440 kilometers per hour is the cruise speed.
  • Service Ceiling: 7620 meters is the maximum height.
  • 7100 kg of payload capacity.
  • Economy Class has 68 seats.

6 Airbus A330F: Characteristics

  • Cargo planes.
  • Each one has a capacity of 68 tons.


Next up on my 9 business class flights around the world for $325 is the Central and South America carrier, Avianca. This is my first trip with Avianca and, lucky me, it’s in business class. After a brief layover that included some much-needed rest at a Miami hotel, I checked in for my flight then checked out the Avianca VIP Lounge for some preflight cocktails. Off to a good start. For this Avianca business class review, I took a short hop from Miami to Managua. Here’s how it went.


Seats on this Avianca business class review were similar to those found on my Air Canada and EgyptAir Intracontinental flights. This Avianca Airbus 320 had the larger style non-lay flat seats which are much nicer than just blocking out the middle aisle seat like in my Turkish Air experience. There was plenty of space with in-seat USB charging and an entertainment unit.


Food & Drink

Food on this Avianca business class review flight was mediocre. Options were limited but understandable on a short flight like this. Again, on par with the other short-haul business class flights I took. Overcooked and bland, or just what you would expect with airline food.



In-seat entertainment included plenty of movies with individual headsets provided. There was not a huge selection but enough to keep me entertained for a couple hours. The premium headphones are a nice touch compared to the standard earbuds, and the remote made surfing the interface easier.



Overall if I was paying out-of-pocket I would pass on an Avianca business class upgrade. The added cost just isn’t worth the leg room and upgraded service. Looking back in coach I saw seats with similar entertainment systems and above-average seating space.

If you’re flying on points, well that’s a different story.

Avianca Airbus A320 and A321 between Colombia and Costa Rica

Costa Rica welcomes more than 3 million tourists each year, and the vast majority of them arrive via airplane.


Because of our large international readership, we at The Tico Times think it important to share our travel experiences on the various airlines that serve Costa Rica. We’ll begin our series with a review of Avianca, the flag carrier airline of Colombia.

Avianca is among the world’s oldest airlines, and it celebrated its centennial anniversary last year. Its subsidiary, Avianca Costa Rica, is the last remaining vestige of LACSA (Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses SA), Costa Rica’s national airline.

We flew four legs on Avianca in January: To and from Juan Santamaría International Airport near San José and Bogotá, Colombia, each with a layover in El Salvador.

Flight details: Flying Avianca to Costa Rica

Booking flights through Avianca is a straightforward process. To book directly, visit their website at Avianca flights will also appear on travel booking sites (such as Expedia or Kayak).

Avianca serves both Juan Santamaría International Airport (near San José) and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (in Liberia, Guanacaste).

Avianca is a member of the Star Alliance, which means you can earn and redeem miles if you belong to any Star Alliance member airline’s frequent flyer program. (These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Copa, among many others.)

We booked two economy tickets using Chase Ultimate Rewards points and a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. The card has a 60,000 point signup bonus, worth $750 toward travel, and it provides travel protection in case of major delays.

Avianca: Check-in and airport experience

Twenty-four hours before our flight, Avianca e-mailed us with the option to check-in online. We took advantage to make our airport experience as smooth as possible, and we downloaded our boarding passes to our phones to scan at the airport.

You can also check-in at airport kiosks or with an agent for no extra charge.

No matter your fare class, all Avianca flights between Central American countries (and from the U.S. to Central America) allow for a free carry-on bag and a free checked bag. That’s a perk you won’t get with many other airlines. (For Avianca’s policies, click here)

We were through check-in, immigration and security quickly in both Costa Rica and Colombia, and we had plenty of time at our gates before boarding.

While we only transited through El Salvador International Airport, the experience at Avianca’s Central American hub was considerably more hectic. The building feels cramped, and during both layovers, we saw lines to use public bathrooms and a scrum in the middle of the terminal as passengers traveling to the United States waited to pass a second security screening.

Avianca: In-flight experience

Avianca does a lot of things well, but it leaves some things to be desired.


We’ll start with the good: Avianca’s Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, which operated our flights, offer between 31 and 32 inches of pitch in economy, which felt plenty roomy. The seats also had moveable headrests with adjustable wings for neck support.

Each economy seat had a small personal touchscreen TV and a wired remote. The entertainment systems were loaded with dozens of TV shows, music and games — available in Spanish, English and Portuguese. Every row of three seats shared two power outlets.

During all four flights — even the short hops between El Salvador and Costa Rica — the flight attendants offered a snack and drink service. The snacks were on the larger side — a small wrap or sandwich, rather than the traditional (tiny) bag of pretzels. The food was never great, but the gesture was nice.

Finally, because of the generous checked-bag policy, we never had an issue finding overhead bin space for our larger backpacks.


Now for the bad: None of our four flights had WiFi. Avianca says it’s expanding internet options on its planes, but for now, don’t count on getting work done. And on two of our four flights, the tray table was in rough shape — one still had trash in the cupholder, and another was wobbly to the point of being unusable.

Summary: Flying Avianca to Costa Rica


Flying Avianca was overall a positive experience, even if there are areas for improvement.

Avianca is a full-service airline, and it treats passengers like one: You won’t feel nickel-and-dimed for bags, the seats are comfortable enough, and you’ll get a drink and a snack even on short flights.

But there are notable areas for improvement. Better cleanliness would go a long way, and WiFi is increasingly an expectation for passengers — especially on longer flights.

I would gladly fly Avianca again. But how does it stack up against other airlines that serve Costa Rica? Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out!

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