Avianca International Tries to Distance Itself from Avianca Brasil

The airlines plans to launch a Brazilian publicity campaign in three weeks

Ivan Martínez-Vargas
São Paulo

In an attempt to distance itself from the battered image of Avianca Brasil, Avianca International will launch an expansive media campaign in Brazil. The campaign will launch in three weeks and will include television and print advertisements, as well as signage in airports.

Avianca Brasil, the company's Brazilian sister, has filed for bankruptcy, hasn't paid employees and has accumulated more than R$2.7 billion ($.686 million) in debt. The idea, according to people familiar with the situation, is to try to show that Avianca International is healthy and without any operational problems.

The Colombian company is controlled by the Synergy group, owned by Germán and Jose Efromovich. The holding company also controls Avianca Brasil. Avianca Holdings, in which Synergy group has a majority stake, did not respond to a request for comment.

Empty check-in desk of Avianca airlines is seen at Afonso Pena International Airport in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Brazil December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker ORG XMIT: PW01 - REUTERS

Synergy also owns the shipyards Mauá and Eisa, which also filed for bankruptcy.

Germán Efromovich is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Avianca Holdings, publicly traded on the NYSE (the New York Stock Exchange). José sits on the board of the Colombian airline and presides over Avianca Brasil.

Despite staying out of the red, Avianca Holdings earned just $ 1.14 million last year, 98% less than in 2017.

The company's shares also lost 57% of market value in the last year. The brand has cut costs and eliminated less profitable routes, such as domestic ones in countries like Peru. In Colombia, its primary market, the company canceled 11 routes earlier this month.


 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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