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IFC to Help Avianca Airline Improve Transportation and Economic Infrastructure in Colombia


In Washington, D.C.:
Zibu Sibanda

Phone: 202-473-0605

E-mail:
zsibanda@ifc.org

Adriana Gomez

Phone: 202-458-5204

Email:
agomez@ifc.org


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.”


About IFC

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.

About Avianca

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.