Authorities are investigating whether Avianca had anything to do with Viva Air’s suspension of operations: that’s the airline’s position

Authorities are investigating whether Avianca had anything to do with Viva Air’s suspension of operations: that’s the airline’s position

The Superintendence of Industry and Commerce made a surprise visit to Avianca’s facilities to determine if this company had any interference in the suspension of Viva Air operations.

Avianca defended himself with a statement against the charges against him of unfair competition, which damaged his reputation in the airline market, after the surprise visits of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) at its facilities in Bogotá and those in live airin Rionegro, to investigate the decision to stop the operations of the “low cost” airline.

“Avianca shareholders acquired the economic rights to the airline Viva in April 2022, in a transparently executed transaction,” Avianca began in its statement.

The oversight entity has opened an investigation to determine whether this airline was involved in the suspension of Viva operations. In this regard, the company replied that “neither Avianca nor its shareholders have had any influence on the management of the airline Viva, fully respecting said criterion”.

Faced with accusations that in practice the two airlines are “collaborate“, Avianca assured that “at all times, before and after the transaction, Avianca and the airline Viva competed aggressively, without influence or coordination and in compliance with the law”, even after the temporary suspension of operations. announced by the low-cost airline.

Avianca categorically rejects misinformation, slander and false news made by agents of our competitors and reserves the right to take appropriate legal action,” the company said.

And he concluded that he will respect the authorities in their role of investigation and control, cooperating through due process to what is necessary to clarify any doubts and applying the right to self-defence.

For the moment, the results of the visits of the SCI they do not know each other. This control body expressed through a statement that “investigative activities carried out within the framework of the preliminary phase of its administrative action, including administrative visits to the headquarters of market agents, are reserved in accordance with Article 13 of Law 155 of 1959. Therefore, by legal mandate, this Authority cannot pronounce in this regard”.

This action by the SIC took place after the Director of Civil Aeronautics, George Parisask those affected by the suspension of operations to live air to lodge the respective complaints before the SIC when they see their rights as consumers violated. “We would like to see a sicaton,” the official told the thousands of passengers.

It is important to mention that Avianca shareholders hold a significant stake in Viva Air, however, they are not legally allowed to perform administrative actions as this would lead to a violation of the free competition when entering a monopolization Of the market.

President and CEO of Avianca, Adrian Neuhauseras well as the Chief Legal Officer (vice-president legal), Richard Galindoleft the country, after the surprise inspection carried out at the company’s facilities in Bogotá by the SIC to determine compliance with the competition protection regime.

During the inspection by the controlling body, Neuhauser testified, along with other senior executives responsible for the operation of the airline. “All the information requested as part of the process has been provided. Like always Avianca reiterates its full availability to collaborate with the authorities in everything related to this investigation,” the company said in a statement, adding that the fact that its president has left the national territory constitutes a routine act.

Melissa Galbraith
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