CRFLY
Topic Author
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AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 3:28 am

Effective May 17, the new Avianca has decided to cancel more than half of its flights to and from San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO). Additionally, they are firing more than 300 people just in Costa Rica, all of them employed by LACSA (or Taca Costa Rica). These flights were immediately canceled and the passengers of these flights should contact the Avianca or the Taca Call Center to be rebooked.

Pretty shocking for us in Costa Rica! This is the official end of LACSA as we all knew it, the start of the end for the SJO Hub, and the beginning of the new Avianca!

Here is the press release in English, taken from www.taca.com



TACA restructures operations in San Jose, Costa Rica


Starting May 17th, the Airline adjusts operations to and from San Jose, Costa Rica, in order to meet market needs

The Airline will keep direct flights between San Jose and Caracas, Mexico, Miami, Guatemala, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Managua, and Panama, as well as the connecting flights to hubs in El Salvador, Bogota, and Lima

For those affected clients that have not begun or completed their trip, the Airline will provide, depending on their preference, alternate travel arrangements or a full refund.

Alternate travel arrangements for cancelled flights

All passengers with a reservation to travel on any of the flights listed below will be contacted by one of our call center representatives in order to provide alternate travel arrangements. Travelers will be able to use the ticket in a future date no later than 12 months of the original purchase date, with no penalty charged (restrictions apply). Here you can to make, for yourself, the change itinerary. in our web page.

Passengers in active flights to and from San Jose

All travelers with a reservation in flights from San Jose to Caracas, Mexico, Miami, Guatemala, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Managua and Panama, as well as to our hubs in El Salvador, Bogota and Lima, will keep their itinerary as scheduled. Please arrive at the airport at the time and date indicated in your itinerary.

TACA apologizes and appreciates your understanding for this reorganization of our operations.

Flights canceled as of May 17, 2013:

Flight number
Route
LR661 San Jose CR - Quito
LR660 Quito - Guayaquil - San Jose CR
LR660 San Jose CR - Nueva York
LR661 New York - San Jose CR
AV693 San Jose CR - Panama - Medellin
AV692 Medellin - Panama - San Jose CR
LR652 San Jose CR - Havana
LR653 Havana - San Jose CR
LR672 Panama - San Jose CR
LR673 San Jose CR - Panama
LR604 San Jose CR - Los Angeles
LR605 Los Angeles - San Jose CR
LR684 San Jose CR - Monterrey
LR685 Monterrey - San Jose CR
LR678 San Jose CR - Managua
LR679 Managua - San Jose CR


Flights canceled as of June 16, 2013:

Flight number
Route
TA953 San Jose CR - Lima
TA952 Lima - San Jose CR
TA454 Tegucigalpa - Miami
TA455 Miami - Tegucigalpa
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Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 11:04 am

Out of interest, is there actually a difference between LACSA and TACA Costa Rica or is the latter just a brand name used by LACSA?
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MaverickM11
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 12:16 pm

Quoting CRFLY (Thread starter):
LR605 Los Angeles - San Jose CR
Quoting CRFLY (Thread starter):
LR661 New York - San Jose CR

I know these fares tend to be pretty awful, so these don't surprise me--is SJO just as cheap to the other destinations? I can understanding consolidating the hub to SAL, rather than operating several in the area
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 1:16 pm

So it seems the non-stop routes surviving the cuts are Bogota, Caracas, Guatemala City, Lima, Managua, Mexico City, Miami, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa and Toronto.

Los Angeles will continue to be served daily via GUA. Managua and Lima are just frequency cuts.

Tegucigalpa will continue to have domestic and regional service to Guatemala City, La Ceiba, Roatan, San Pedro Sula, San Jose and San Salvador.
Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
 
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yellowtail
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 8:26 pm

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 3):
Los Angeles will continue to be served daily via GUA.

They just made DLs life on their new LAX-SJO ( in think effective Aug) a whole lot easier.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
laca773
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 8:35 pm

No real surprises here. AV wants to run the combined airline much more efficiently and profitably.
LAX-SJO/JFK/MIA were routes that really don't need daily service. They are definite leisure markets. Perhaps AV will operate seasonal service from SJO to these major US destinations, albeit, 3-4x a week should suffice. No need for daily service.
It will be interesting to see how long DL keeps LAX-SJO at the frequencies it's scheduled to have as well as when it will downgauge from a 75W to a 73W.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 8:55 pm

It is very unprofessional of AV's management to do this with no advance notice...
 
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yellowtail
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 10:11 pm

Lots of rumors that more routes are on the chopping block, especially the point to points....
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
WesternA318
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 10:23 pm

As long as it keeps AV prifitable and efficient Im all for it. AV needs to stay in the air.   
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flyby519
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 10:24 pm

What will be their main focus going forward? Building one hub in Bogota? Or will they keep Lima and El Salvador as well?
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WesternA318
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 10:29 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 9):
What will be their main focus going forward? Building one hub in Bogota? Or will they keep Lima and El Salvador as well?

It looks that way. Not a bad idea at all, really.
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avi8
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Sun May 19, 2013 10:37 pm

I hope GUA doesn't lose it's point-to-points. That would be terrible.
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carmenlu15
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 1:07 am

Quoting laca773 (Reply 5):
No real surprises here. AV wants to run the combined airline much more efficiently and profitably.

Business is business, but a little advance notice wouldn't have hurt. Expect a lot of disgruntled passengers in the coming days...

Quoting avi8 (Reply 11):
I hope GUA doesn't lose it's point-to-points. That would be terrible.

Indeed!   
Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
 
AR385
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 1:15 am

I can´t believe they were losing money on the MTY-SJO, a route for which the business community here had been lobbying for decades. They just gave it back to AM and Interjet. Many of these routes seem like being cut out of lack of capacity rather than for being unprofitable. That´s not a good way to start integrated operations.
 
mt99
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 1:32 am

Probably a good business move - deplorable execution.

So - what happening with the extra planes?
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RCS763AV
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 2:35 am

Quoting mt99 (Reply 15):
Probably a good business move - deplorable execution.

Couldn't have said it better. The SJO hub was oddly placed and competed for the same passenger flows with SAL and to a lesser extent BOG. But they could have said this at least with a two week notice or something. It's the same story as when they suddenly shut down the entire Aeroperlas operation in Panama.

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 9):
What will be their main focus going forward? Building one hub in Bogota? Or will they keep Lima and El Salvador as well?

Lima and El Salvador are staying, and they're going to get bigger. I expect new capacity additions in both with the closure of the SJO hub.
 
CRFLY
Topic Author
Posts: 175
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 9:17 am

I disagree with you RCS763AV. The SAL hub had the schedule leaving in the morning from South America and connecting to North America in the morning. The return was from North America in the afternoon, connecting through SAL and arriving South America in the evening. Example:

TA 456 UIO SAL 0540 0740 B 320 3.00
TA 522 SAL LAX 0857 1327 B 320 5.30
TA 523 LAX SAL 1205 1805 L 320 5.00
TA 457 SAL UIO 1935 2335 D 319 3.00

On the other hand, SJO was the opposite. The flights originated in North America in the mornings, connect in San Jose and arrived South America in the afternoon. The return was again in the mid/late afternoon, connect in San Jose and arrived in North America in the evening. Example:

LR 689 MIA SJO 0850 0940 B E90 2.50
LR 631 SJO CCS 1022 1445 L E90 2.53
LR 630 CCS SJO 1535 1655 L E90 2.50
LR 688 SJO MIA 1826 2316 D E90 2.50

This made perfect sense... If you lived in the North and you want an early flight to South America, you fly through San Jose... If you wanted an afternoon flight, you connect through San Salvador and arrive in the evening in South America, very easy. I don't see a competition there between Hubs, as the schedules were different, plus these markets like New York, Los Angeles and the other cities could handle at least one daily flight. A proof that this is true is Copa's operation in Panama, where they have three or four flights a day to the major North American and South American cities, while TACA had just one flight a day and in some cases, a 3x or 4x weekly or so, and out of just one Hub!

Second point, Lima is not going everywhere and it's getting bigger? Hmmm let's see... There you have direct competition on routes and schedules as both Avianca and Taca Peru operate out of South America in the morning, connect in BOG and LIM to North America and then return to South America in evening arriving in the early morning. SAL will stay, so will BOG... LIM not so sure!

Finally, I remember some years ago when Avianca decided to end the Alianza Summa and shut down Aces, one of the best Colombian carries ever... Maybe this is again the way of doing business that Avianca is used to, no offense! But at the end Costa Rica is the big loser with this situation, especially because of the tourism which is the first income the country has these days, and TACA was the biggest carrier! Sad sad story!
With Age comes Wisdom...
 
2travel2know2
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 2:35 pm

Being the devil advocate here,
It's true that when AV and TA merged SJO hub became squeezed between BOG and SAL.
It's also true that SJO airport management and expansion has undergone quite a number of scandals.
It's also true that a major SJO airport tenant refused to give up his concession, move out and let SJO use some precious land for expansion, and
It's also true that for an aviation operational point of view SAL does offer better weather conditions and available land for expansion than SJO.
How much all of that pay a part in AV choosing to de-hub SJO is a good question.
However how AV has handled all of this really leaves a bitter flavour on the customers and aviation community in Central America as a whole.

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 3):
So it seems the non-stop routes surviving the cuts are Bogota, Caracas, Guatemala City, Lima, Managua, Mexico City, Miami, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa and Toronto.

AV could face a hard time trying to get new frequencies to CCS and YYZ, so those 2 routes pretty sure will be kept in SJO for a while.
LR (TA) had the earliest PTY-SJO and the latest SJO-PTY everyday, those flights would even survive with O/D alone so I don't see the point of why they were cancelled other that AV needed the aircraft on another route and the ATR weren't suitable for those.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
RCS763AV
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting CRFLY (Reply 16):

On the other hand, SJO was the opposite. The flights originated in North America in the mornings, connect in San Jose and arrived South America in the afternoon. The return was again in the mid/late afternoon, connect in San Jose and arrived in North America in the evening
Quoting CRFLY (Reply 16):
The SAL hub had the schedule leaving in the morning from South America and connecting to North America in the morning. The return was from North America in the afternoon, connecting through SAL and arriving South America in the evening. Example:

So basically, two stations handling the same type of passenger flows (North-South) but at different schedules....so it's something that can be perfectly done in one station with more flights thus gaining economies of scale. The station chosen was SAL.

Quoting CRFLY (Reply 16):
I don't see a competition there between Hubs, as the schedules were different, plus these markets like New York, Los Angeles and the other cities could handle at least one daily flight.

It's the same pax being routed through two different airports! It's the same that was happening during the Delta/Northwest merger between ATL and MEM. Why have two if you can route everything through one hub at a lower cost?

Quoting CRFLY (Reply 16):
Second point, Lima is not going everywhere and it's getting bigger? Hmmm let's see...

LIM was strategic in the merger, as it is the best connecting point for intra-south america traffic. Yes, they face competition form much larger LAN, but they're operations there are profitable and steadily growing.

SJO, a leaisure-heavy destination with no major market nearby, competing with SAL and BOG for pax and costing the airline money, was just not viable. Lima has twice the population of Costa Rica in it's metro area and is in the middle of every major south american economy. Very different story.

Quoting CRFLY (Reply 16):
Finally, I remember some years ago when Avianca decided to end the Alianza Summa and shut down Aces, one of the best Colombian carries ever...

Aces shut down because they were in terrible financial shape. Their management took terrible decisions and ACES was on the verge of bankruptcy as was AV when Summa was created. The leases on the airline's A320s had been negotiated in euros at a time when the colombian peso fluctuated heavily, with the Pastrana peace process coming to a debacle and the uncertainty of what would happen, the euro skyrocketed and ACES became an unviable operation, while AV had the leases of it's aircraft in dollars through US companies, and could renegotiate them with the Ch. 11 proceeding they submitted themselves to, which turned them around to profitability and then came the Efromovich buyout.

So let's not mix things here.

It was a bad thing that Avianca Holdings came out of nowhere and shut the flights down immediately with no notice and furloughed all these people. But it was bound to happen, the central american hubs were just duplicating and predating from each other.


What Costa Rica should do now is promote the launch of a central american LCC, given the heavy leisure-oriented type of traffic that the country manages, and to provide competition to the star alliance duopoly in central american routes. Forget Avianca. Get the Viva guys to open up shop just as they did in Mexico and Colombia.
 
peterinlisbon
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 6:49 pm

Yeah, what we need is some sort of low-cost central american airline to force out all of these high-priced ripoff outfits like Avianca / Taca and Copa, which are all just one big cartel anyway. 500$ for a 2 hour flight - it's cheaper to fly twice the distance via Miami just to avoid these scammers!
 
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yellowtail
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 6:52 pm

While i understand the need to give up a hub for economies of scale. AV may regret this decision as it will make "that thorn in their side" CM much stronger.

the dismantling of SJO may in fact open the floodgates and see CM really become the overwhelmingly dominant force in Central America.

It may cost AV more money in the longer run that keeping a breakeven hub open. CM is far more well run that AV and they will not spare the machete capatilizing on this turn of events
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
MAH4546
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 7:12 pm

Not entirely surprised there is route rationalization, but one virtually zero notice?!? Odd.

Quoting laca773 (Reply 5):
LAX-SJO/JFK/MIA were routes that really don't need daily service. They are definite leisure markets. Perhaps AV will operate seasonal service from SJO to these major US destinations, albeit, 3-4x a week should suffice. No need for daily service.

LR is maintaining MIA-SJO.
a.
 
laca773
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Mon May 20, 2013 10:42 pm

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 21):

LR is maintaining MIA-SJO.

I can see this. Makes sense.

It's no longer LR. It's AV.
 
carmenlu15
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RE: AV Shuts Down Half Of Its Operation In SJO!

Tue May 21, 2013 1:05 am

Quoting laca773 (Reply 22):
It's no longer LR. It's AV.

They're keeping the individual operation certificates, even though they will be using only the AV code in the different GDS...
Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.

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