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Colombian Regulator Green Lights Avianca-Viva Air Merger

 |  April 27, 2023

Colombia’s regulator, Aerocivil, has approved the controversial combination of Avianca and bankrupt Viva Air. This merger unites country’s first and third largest airlines.

The merger had been delayed by Aerocivil due to competition concerns and allegations of antitrust violations. On Wednesday it was approved with conditions.

Read more: Avianca Defends Viva Air South American Deal

As part of the agreement, Avianca must relaunch Viva as an independent brand — the discounter shut down in February — and honor all travelers affected by its closure. It also must divest slots at Bogotá’s El Dorado airport, return one daily Colombia-Argentina frequency for new competition, and maintain a codeshare with regional airline Satena among other conditions.

Avianca and Viva, as well as other parties who have commented on the deal, have 13 days to agree to Aerocivil’s terms before the approval is final. If all agree to the conditions, then the merger can go ahead and Avianca can set a date for Viva’s relaunch.