Washington DC, September 29, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, will support the expansion of Colombia’s
leading airline, Avianca, helping advance domestic and international tourism
and improving access to remote areas.
Avianca provides Colombia with essential domestic and international passenger
and air cargo services. The topography and distances between cities make
air transportation vital. IFC’s long-term financing of $50 million will
help the carrier renew its fleet and transform itself into a modern and
efficient airline. Avianca plans to acquire 42 new aircrafts and purchase
engines and spare parts for existing planes.
Fabio Villegas, Avianca’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “Avianca appreciates
IFC’s support of our fleet renewal plan, which will help reduce fuel costs,
improve overall fleet safety and reliability, and achieve higher passenger
comfort levels. With the current volatility of oil prices, a fuel-efficient
aircraft is a key competitive advantage.”
Atul Mehta, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “IFC’s
financing to Avianca is part of our strategy to support key infrastructure
projects in Colombia and help strengthen the country’s competitiveness.
We are delighted to support the expansion of this important infrastructure
player in Latin America.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia and one of the largest in Latin
America. The company provides scheduled services to more than 40 domestic
and international destinations. It has code-sharing agreements with five
international carriers, including Air Canada, Delta, Iberia, Mexicana,
and Taca. The airline transports about 10 million passengers a year.