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Avianca relaunches direct UK-Colombia flights

Avianca relaunches direct UK-Colombia flights
6 Feb 2014

Colombian national carrier Avianca is to launch direct flights to and from the UK for the first time in almost ten years. The airline will operate four flights a week, from London to Bogota, with the first of these to launch later this year.

This will mark the first time that passengers have been able to fly straight from the UK to Colombia in nine years. They are due to launch out of Heathrow's Terminal 2 in July following years of negotiation between the airport and the airline.

According to Travelmole, Heathrow has been in talks with Avianca for five years since 2009, with the Colombian flag carrier patiently awaiting suitable take-off and landing slots to be made available at the airport.

The case has been presented by by the airport in support of a third runway at Heathrow, with Avianca joining airlines such as China Southern in having to wait for a number of years before being able to launch new Heathrow flights.

The flights come at a good time with the spotlight currently on Colombia's developing economy, which was highlighted recently by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as one of the "most promising" in the world. The two countries have a bilateral trade target of £4 billion by 2020 and the extra flights will make a significant contribution to this by enabling easier trade.

Colombia has also been named among the next tranche of potentially high-growth economies with Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa - collectively referred to as CIVETS.

Colin Matthews, chief executive at Heathrow, said: "We are delighted that Avianca is coming to Heathrow this summer. The world's economic centre of gravity is shifting and Britain needs to capitalise on links to fast growing economies like Colombia. we would like to welcome more flights bringing trade and jobs to the UK  but a lack of hub airport capacity means we are less well connected than we could be."ADNFCR-408-ID-801690881-ADNFCR

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