The majority shareholder of Avianca-Taca foresees 12% growth in the Colombian airline industry and between 14% and 15% growth in that of Latin America.
In an interview with financial publication Portafolio, majority shareholder German Efromovich said “Latin America has never experienced a period like this in its economy which is driven by the purchasing power of the lower classes.”
On the subject of Bogota‘s Eldorado airport, Efromovich said an airport should not be run for the purposes of profit because it is a national necessity. “Unfortunately airports today, including in Colombia, are thinking commercially rather than operationally. In Eldorado where ever there is a tiny space, a business is opened, rather than improving facilities for the public.”
When asked which airport Bogota’s Eldorado should model itself on, he said that Singapore’s Changi airport is extremely efficient and Madrid’s Baraja airport is a model which should not be used.
Efromovich said that the next move after the merger of Avianca and Taca in February 2010 was to complete the integration in Star Alliance, renovate the fleet and reform the Lifemiles program. “We want it to be the best program in the world, and it will be, but there are some adjustments we have to make,” said the Bolivian-born businessman.
He added that Avianca is the greenest airline as it has practically eliminated the use of aircrafts which fly on diesel and their cups and napkins are biodegradable.
The airline boss announced Friday that Avianca will fly a new route from Colombia to Europe.