All flights on bankrupt airline Avianca Brazil have been suspended indefinitely after Brazilian regulators grounded the airline. The Brazilian carrier, which is a member of Star Alliance, already cancelled thousands of flights last month after most of its aircraft were repossessed.
For clarity, Avianca Brazil is a different company to Avianca (which is based in Colombia). Avianca itself, which is the operator of the popular LifeMiles frequent flyer program, is not bankrupt.
Formerly known as Oceanair, Avianca Brazil has been using the Avianca brand on a franchise agreement for the past few years. Avianca Brazil’s frequent flyer program is called “Amigo”.
Avianca Brazil has been on shaky financial ground for some time, having already declared bankruptcy in late 2018. The airline was then forced to cancel the majority of its domestic and international flights last month after 18 of the airline’s 25 aircraft had to be returned to leasing companies.
Since the end of April, Avianca Brazil had been operating just 30 flights per day using their remaining fleet of seven Airbus A320 family aircraft. Finally, last Friday, the Brazilian civil aviation safety regulator called it a day and grounded the airline indefinitely. The regulator said that Avianca Brazil would remain grounded until the company was able to prove they had the capacity to maintain safe air operations in their current financial state.
If you happen to have any upcoming flights booked with Avianca Brazil, you could try to request a refund from the airline. But it is unlikely at this point that you’ll even be able to contact Avianca Brazil; I could not even reach them a month ago. In that case, a credit card chargeback would be advisable.
The loss of Avianca Brazil reduces the number of Star Alliance member airlines from 28 to 27.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Avianca Brazil flights cancelled