The Colombian low-cost airline, Ultra Air, will enter liquidation. This has been announced by the Superintendency of Companies, the state administrative body that regulates the operation of companies.
The Colombian company ceased its operations in March, coinciding with the end of Viva Air’s activities. This represents a severe blow to the country’s airline sector, as it loses two low-cost airlines at once, which will result in an increase in flight prices.
Ultra Air ceased operations due to the high debt accumulated by the company. Over the past three months, it has attempted a business restructuring to ensure the viability of the business, but ultimately, it was not possible to reach agreements with new investors to guarantee the liquidity of Ultra Air.
Failed attempt in April
A couple of months ago, the Chilean airline Jet Smart withdrew its offer to purchase 100% of the capital of the Colombian company, making the first attempt to revive Ultra Air unsuccessful.
The Colombian government has confirmed that Ultra Air will follow in the footsteps of Viva Air and will end up in liquidation, ruling out the expected recovery of flights if new investors were found.
Operation started in 2022
The company operated for thirteen months, founded in 2020 in Rionegro (Antioquia), and it began its operations in March of last year. The founder, Mexican entrepreneur William Shaw, who is also the founder of Viva Air, has seen both airlines disappear in the same year for the same reason.
Based at José María Córdova Airport, located in the city of Rionegro, which serves the city of Medellín, the company had four Airbus A320-200 aircraft and operated routes from the airports of Bogotá, Pereira, and Rionegro to various national destinations.
The company had planned for growth, with the acquisition of new aircraft and the opening of flights to international destinations. Aruba, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cuba, and Curaçao were scheduled to begin operations by the end of this year.
Other routes linking different points in Colombia with the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, which were not yet ready for launch, promised to increase flight options at a low cost. Ultimately, the company’s disappearance will prevent this route expansion, creating a vacuum which will need to be filled.
Blow to tourism
The definitive cessation of operations by Ultra Air represents a new setback for Colombian aviation, as it practically means the total disappearance of low-cost flights, which had only recently started operating in the country.
In this regard, tourist destinations view the disappearance of airlines with concern. According to official data, the cessation of Viva Air’s activities in March resulted in a 39.5% decrease in air passenger traffic.
Omar Hernán García, director of Cotelco Magdalena, expressed that “the disappearance of these companies has plunged the tourism sector into great concern” due to the foreseeable decrease in tourism on the Colombian Atlantic coast.