Avianca to retire E190 fleet

Aviation

Avianca will phase out its entire Embraer 190 fleet this year, as it targets a fleet simplification amid an overall company plan to improve profitability.

The Bogota-based airline will remove 10 E190 aircraft, eight of which it currently operates. Two other E190s are currently leased to Aeromexico Connect, Cirium Fleets Analyzer shows.

As a result of the E190 removals, Avianca has incurred a $38.9 million one-time non-cash impairment charge in its fourth quarter 2018 financial results, representing the residual value of the aircraft.

The 10 E190s range from seven to 10 years old, according to data from Fleets Analyzer.

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Avianca says the E190 phase-out will result in cost savings on the maintenance and inventory front, as the airline undergoes an internal plan to boost profitability after focusing on growth in recent years.

The airline operated a fleet of 190 aircraft as of the end of 2018, including the eight E190s. Avianca chief executive Hernan Rincon told analysts on an earnings call today that there will be a “material reduction” of the fleet following the E190 removals. He says that Avianca is targeting a total fleet size of 150 to 165 aircraft, although not all the reductions will take place in 2019.

Avianca currently operates E190s mostly on service within Central America, as well as on some routes from Central America to the USA, Cirium schedules data show.

The carrier is the latest among Latin American airlines to target removals of the E-Jet E1 family from its fleet. Panama’s Copa Airlines previously announced plans to sell up to six E190s, while Brazil’s Azul is seeking to accelerate retirements of its E190s and E195s as it prepares to add its first E195-E2 this year.

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