The closing of operations live air At the beginning of March it has spread and has cost the company, its workers and, above all, the users who were stranded in different airports in the country and abroad more than imagined.

Many determinations have been made since then, but one of the most notable is the complaint that the Ministry of Transport filed with the Prosecutor’s Office for the crimes of massive aggravated fraud and the deceptive offer of products and services.

The Minister of Transport, william reyesexplained the scope of this measure and the panorama of the sector.

There are several determinations that have been made about Viva, what happens now?

Well, there are several things on the part of our transportation sector: the first is the takeover of control made by the Superintendence of Transportation with respect to Viva. We are waiting, since the term expires this Thursday to decide if the intervention leads to the taking over of the company’s administration.

On our side, as a ministry, we have collected information from the superintendency, airlines and travel agencies, from all the information provided by Fast Colombia, to file a criminal complaint against the managers for the crime of aggravated fraud in the modality mass that, in our opinion, with what we have of evidence, It can exceed 270,000 million pesos in what was the sale of tickets, ticket holders and coupons, knowing that they were going to leave the market. This is something that, according to what our criminal team was able to demonstrate, occurred from the first days of February, when they began to deliver the planes, and it is an incontrovertible fact that they were going to leave the operation.

Does the ministry have information that Viva sold tickets knowing that they were going to close?

That’s how it is. We have evidence of passengers that minutes, seconds before they said they were closing the temporary operation, they were spending tickets, even in the midst of the contingency.

What does this complaint mean?

We were able to establish that criminal action is incurred for the conduct of what would be a fraud aggravated by the economic modality, because those who did it, did it knowing what was going to happen.

Because there were more than 475,000 citizens with close to 725,000 operations, that is, with many cases of purchase of round-trip tickets. That makes it two operations.

That typifies us a sum close, first, to 8,500 million pesos, more or less, as evidenced by the travel agencies, of coupons and tickets sold.

However, Anato has said that it exceeds 30,000 million pesos for travel agencies, and in what we have of those 750,000 journeys, that would give us about 242,000 million and other transactions, which could reach 272,000 million for now.

Guillermo Reyes, Minister of Transportation


Milton Diaz/The Weather

Does that affect the integration operation with Avianca in any way?

Well, there are two different situations: one, the administrative, aeronautical or integration process that is decided by the Civil Aeronautics, which will also be known this Thursday at 5:00 p.m., and there the final decision will be made. This is an administrative action. The other is a criminal issue. Here you can find a number of State bodies that come to act at different levels.

What will happen to the workers and the operation?

The workers are very important to us, when Fast Colombia, that is to say Viva, says that they have the resources with which to liquidate the employees, since they exercise a guaranteed economic issue. I’m not sure if that happened. However, the Ministry of Labor is carrying out all the inquiries as to whether this has occurred.

We have also learned that Latam and that Avianca have already hired a group of these workers, which also leads me to reaffirm that Viva is not going to operate again.He doesn’t have planes, he doesn’t have employees and he doesn’t have resources, no more debts. How could he operate? Who is going to give him planes to carry out the operation? However, everything is seen in the vineyard of the Lord.

There is a group of workers who are apparently located, as the president of Latam told me yesterday and last week in the political control debate, the president or the legal head of Avianca.

On the other hand, there is a group of workers who have filed a complaint against Aerocivil and the Ministry for not having acted promptly, but we have carried out a guardianship control, we have announced, requested, speed in decision-making, we have acted within the framework, in the powers, and Aeronautics in its integration processn in the two phases that have been had.


Jaiver Nieto Alvarez/ETCE

What will happen to the low cost sector with this and Ultra’s concern?

This situation of Viva and other announcements that I received that there were other low-cost airlines such as Ultra, which are in a delicate economic situation, led me, by virtue of my powers, to ask the director of the Aeronautics and the Superintendent of Transportation to officiate to all the airlines so that, to date, they give us the active and passive balances and what their situation was.

There an investigation was opened to Viva, she has until this Thursday at 5:00 in the afternoon to provide the evidence. In the case of Ultra, the president of the airline, William Shaw, has been in constant conversation with me and in Aeronautics, it made it clear that they are operating, that they are going to continue operating and that they are in a capitalization process.

What I have insisted on is that in my conversations with him he has told me the difficulties that the company has, the needs that the company has whether or not to capitalize or sell. And what I have asked for are the figures. As a minister, as the head of the sector, I want to know the reality, not that of a press release, not that of a possession in the media, but the financial statements to date. To be sure that whoever buys a ticket, a ticket holder has the certainty that their flight is going to leave.

So is it about avoiding that economic panic in the sector?

Well, the economic panic is a figure that is not given, let’s say that in the Ultra issue. It is a small airline, with few aircraft. Its number of flights and frequencies is much lower than what Viva was.

Now we see that the dynamics of the sector is maintained. Now, the passengers have been relocated, their reservations have been guaranteed with airlines such as Latam, Satena, Avianca. And there are new airline opportunities.

For example, Jetsmart wants to enter the Colombian market, and we can say that there is no economic panic here. What there is here is a warning that we are going to monitor them, that we are going to control them, that we are concerned, above all, about the users and that is what we are doing.

We are interested in the air operation being safe, reliable and that whoever sells or submits to the air transport contract complies with the Colombian Aeronautical Regulations and guarantees the passenger, the user, the rights, and ours is to act and protect.

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