Medellín, February 27, 2023. Today, Civil Aeronautics issued a Communication acknowledging the interests of various third parties regarding Viva's urgent request to allow its integration with a stronger and larger group of airlines. This unprecedented decision by the entity will result in further delays in making a decision, for which Viva is forced to announce, unfortunately, the suspension of its operations with immediate effect.
While operations are suspended, Viva will continue negotiations with creditors under the procedures of Decree 560 -PRE-, and will work to preserve its ability to restart operations at a future date, assuming Civil Aeronautics immediately approves the pending alliance. .
After more than seven months of delays by the entity, Viva has presented numerous evidences to the Colombian Government to demonstrate that it is in a critical financial situation, ensuring that the only way it can continue flying is for the Civil Aeronautics to allow it becomes part of a stronger and more well-capitalized group of airlines. Instead, today's decision calls into question the future of the Low Cost air service in Colombia and jeopardizes the jobs of more than 5,000 Colombians, who directly and indirectly depend on Viva.
As a team that worked with the best #AtitudViva during these 10 years to ensure that our airline was the leader in the Low Cost model in the Colombian market, even after the devastating effects of COVID-19 in the industry, we want to state that "we do not let a single stone to lift”, in the search for approval of the alliance with Avianca:
- Viva's request to Aeronáutica Civil was submitted in August 2022. The entity initially rejected the transaction in November of the same year, which resulted in the loss of two aircraft from our fleet.
- In mid-January 2023, the Civil Aeronautics annulled the entire process because, according to the entity's own admission, it did not follow the proper procedures when evaluating the transaction.
- Viva has had countless meetings with high-ranking members of the national government to explain the critical financial situation of the airline.
- In a period of seven months, the Government received more than five financial updates to demonstrate that Viva qualified to treat its request under the figure of "exception of company in crisis" that realized the pressing urgency of a definition.
- A series of conditions that would preserve competition and air connectivity in remote areas were submitted to the Civil Aeronautics; including the elimination of up to 105 slots at El Dorado Airport in Bogotá, the survival of the Viva brand and its Low Cost model, the shared code to allow Satena's regional passenger connectivity and maintaining Viva's interline agreements.
- Viva's aircraft lessors met with the Government to explain that they would no longer wait for a decision, causing the loss of more aircraft from our fleet in a short time.
- Viva then began the Business Recovery Process (PRE) under decree 560 to negotiate with its creditors and maintain its operations.
- For weeks now, Civil Aeronautics has had everything necessary to issue a decision. They have had the full legal capacity and authority to issue that decision without further delay.
- The Government has been informed, on several occasions, that allowing Viva to become the low-cost subsidiary of a larger and stronger airline group will allow the airline to continue to offer Colombian travelers access to low prices, efficient service and of course, continue with its promise to connect the most remote cities with any part of the world.
We appreciate the support that our travelers, allies, collaborators, suppliers, media, congressmen and other government officials have shown Viva. Unfortunately, we are at this point due to the repeated delays of the Civil Aeronautics and their inability to recognize that what is best for Viva is also the best for all Colombians.
We're proud of what we've accomplished so far and the decisions we've made to put Viva and its travelers at the center of everything we do. We remain hopeful that Civil Aeronautics will take immediate action to ensure that Viva continues to paint the skies yellow.
For those passengers affected by our suspension of operations, we invite you to visit www.vivaair.com for more information; or if they wish, they can wait for instructions from the Civil Aeronautics, who have publicly stated that they will implement plans to help affected passengers.