Avianca Adds Honduras Service, Plans Ecuador Routes
Avianca has confirmed plans to launch a new route connecting Colombia and Honduras, becoming the sole nonstop service between the two countries.
The airline intends to launch flights from Bogota (BOG) to Palmerola International (XPL), located about 110 km (68 mi.) away from Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. Operations will start on March 26, flying daily using a mix of Airbus A320 and A320neo aircraft.
Construction of Tegucigalpa’s new hub started in 2016 to replace the aging Toncontín International (TGU). The airport was inaugurated in October 2021 and has the capacity for about 1.7 million passengers per year.
Avianca is one of eight airlines to already serve Palmerola International, flying twice a week from Guatemala City (GUA) and five times per week from San Salvador (SAL) at the present time. However, the 1,831-km (989-nm) route from Bogota will be its first from Colombia.
“This is the first direct flight between Honduras and Colombia and offers travelers the opportunity to connect with a large number of destinations in the world,” Lenir Pérez, president of Palmerola International, said. “We are sure that this connection will be a success.”
Sabre Market Intelligence data shows that O&D traffic between Colombia and Honduras totaled 33,329 two-way passengers in 2019, all of which was indirect. Bogota-Tegucigalpa was the largest city-pair, accounting for around 22% of traffic, while Bogota-San Pedro Sula was the second largest on 18.9%.
The planned launch of the route comes as Avianca’s Ecuadorian subsidiary has applied to open a new route to Venezuela and modify a service to the US.
In a submission to Ecuador’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation, Avianca Ecuador has requested permission to serve Venezuela’s capital Caracas (CCS) from Quito (UIO) and/or Guayaquil (GYE). If given the go-ahead, operations would be up to 7X-weekly.
According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the Ecuador-Venezuela market was last served nonstop in November 2022 by Conviasa, which operated flights to Caracas from Quito and Guayaquil.
Alongside this request, Avianca Ecuador is seeking approval to serve New York up to 14X-weekly from Quito and Guayaquil. The airline launched nonstop flights between Guayaquil and New York John F Kennedy (JFK) in December 2021—and currently operates the route 6X-weekly—but does not serve the Quito-New York market.
OAG data shows the last nonstop flight between Quito-New York came in January 2019, operated by Ecuador’s former flag carrier TAME.