Avianca goes after business travelers by offering quality on-board amenities.
Battling for international business passengers in a fiercely competitive market, Avianca says that one of the ways it seeks to differentiate itself from other airlines is by offering superior on-board service at competitive prices.
As the Bogota-based company works to position itself as the leading airline in Latin America, company executives point to the fact that Avianca provides business travelers attractive on-board entertainment and work options on most of its Airbus fleet, comfortable seating and a wide variety of beverage, snack and meal alternatives, depending on the length of each trip.
Business travelers participating in Latin Trade’s annual survey Best of Business Travel Latin America agree. Avianca received the most votes in the categories of Cabin Comfort & Service and Food & Beverage. In both cases it beat Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM.
Currently, Avianca has 61 aircraft in its fleet: 7 Airbus A330-200; 24 Airbus A320-200; 10 Airbus A319-100; 10 Airbus A318-100 and 10 Fokker Turbo Prop 50.
On flights originating in Colombia, Avianca makes both hot and cold meals more appealing by using freshly prepared domestic fruits, vegetables and other local ingredients. Passengers on international and domestic flights also receive a welcome beverage and a package of mixed nuts.
Since on-board service is such an important selling point, the airline says that it carefully oversees caterers and regularly performs meal checks on random flights to ensure food quality, freshness and presentation.
Menus operate on three different monthly cycles and are completely revamped each year. As is the case in other airlines, Avianca offers the most modern amenities in its newest airplanes. For example, the airline has individual video screens on its A319, A320 and A330 aircraft and shared screens on the A318s.
Business passengers on the newer Airbus planes (A319 to A330) have access to Avianca’s “Sky Office,” providing tools for businessmen and women to work effectively while flying. Sky Office allows passengers to display work from office files on their screens, insert USB flash drives, use and recharge iPods, as well as follow the flight’s progress on a map, view live connections to other Avianca flights and operate/recharge other electronic devices.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) says Avianca offers the best on-board entertainment system in South America because of the wide range of movies, TV series, shorts and video games available, as well as other amenities, including music, on-board reading material and video entertainment for children.
Avianca has two classes of service: executive (business) and tourist (coach), as well as a Superior Business category on its A330 aircraft, which offers roomier seating, more space and other amenities.
With service to 21 destinations within Colombia and 23 international cities, the airline has an average of 380 direct flights daily.
HERE’S WHAT AVIANCA SAYS PASSENGERS CAN EXPECT:
SEATS: Avianca’s Airbus330 has the best seat “pitch” – or distance between seats – at 65 inches for executive class. On A318, A319 and A320 aircraft the pitch is 38 inches in executive class. Seats can recline to 170 degrees.
Avianca’s ergonomically-designed seats are covered in cloth and have a compartment for shoes. Each seat has a power plug and a massage option.The pitch for all economy seating is 32 inches.
BEVERAGES AND SNACKS:
For flights originating in Colombia before 10 a.m., Avianca cabin crews serve orange juice, water and coffee or tea. (Passengers receive a free 70-gram packet of Colombia’s La Sierra coffee at flight’s end.)
Beverages on later flights include champagne, coconut lemonade, juices and other refreshments. A mixture of nuts is served before takeoff. Aside from non-alcoholic beverages, Avianca’s international flights offer beer, Black Label, 8-year-old rum, vodka, gin, two varieties of red wine and two white, as well as sherry, Baileys, cognac, Cointreau and Kahlua.
On a typical flight from Bogota to Miami, Avianca offers different menus blending international-style cooking with typical Colombian fare.
A breakfast in executive class, for example, would be a cheese omelette with sautéed mushrooms and a Colombian arepa (a type of bread made from corn flour).
Avianca also offers platters of tropical fruit from Colombia and servings of natural juices.
For lunch/dinner in executive class, a passenger might be served ravioli filled with squash, while lunch/dinner in economy class would be chicken in a country-style sauce (salsa campesina) accompanied by cooked vegetables and barley.
Business travelers receive an appetizer, a choice of three different main dishes, two types of hot bread with butter or marmalade, fruit and cheese plus dessert.
On long distance flights, passengers receive dinner and breakfast, or a snack with a variety of desserts.
Passengers on special diets related to medical conditions or religious beliefs can order their meals before the flight.
As part of the entertainment features mentioned earlier, Avianca offers daily reports from CNN in Spanish on world and business events, RCN Noticias, soap operas, sports, business features and other programming.
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