Avianca Holdings, which owns such large Latin American regional airlines as Avianca, Taca and Lacsa, experienced a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of passengers transported compared to last year.
The company is attributing the increase, which is much bigger than the average economic expansion in the region, mainly to “a greater capacity” and “higher flight rotation,” but also to the creation of new routes, Claudia Arenas, the firm's international director of communications, recently told Latin Business Daily.
“There is a greater number of seats thanks to airplanes with bigger capacity,” she added.
The company's holdings, which also includes Colombia´s Tampa Cargo, Ecuador´s Aerolineas Galapagos, Nicaragua´s Aerotaxis La Costena and Honduras´ Islena de Inversiones, offer more than 100 destinations, she said.
In addition to the greater number of passengers, the company's airlines also have added new routes including Avianca´s San Jose, Costa Rica to the San Andres island in the Caribbean, which started operations in July. Avianca also began flying from Lima, Peru to Caribbean vacation destinations such as Punta Cana and Cancun this year.
There is also a consolidation of routes opened earlier “as passengers get familiarized with destinations, which is now bringing more traffic,” Arenas said.
“Between January and July of 2015, affiliates of Avianca Holdings transported 16.2 million passengers, 9.5 percent more than” those transported a year earlier, the company said. Capacity, in terms of seat availability, rose 8.5 percent.
The occupancy rate for the first seven months of the year was nearly 80 percent, the company said.
In July alone, Avianca Holdings transported 2.6 million passengers, which is nearly 11 percent more than a year ago. This happened as the number of available seats per flown kilometer increased by nearly 8 percent in the same period.
The increase was led by growth in travel within Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Just counting the domestic markets of these three countries, 1.5 million passengers were transported in July, which was more than a 13 percent increase from the same month a year earlier.
June and July are important as they coincide with vacation periods in several Latin American markets.
The company also added a “revenue strategy aimed at optimizing the utilization of capacity” this year, according to Gilma Usuga, a spokeswoman for the company.