Avianca: best on service and food: Avianca goes after business travelers by offering quality on-board amenities.

Author:Mann, Joseph A., Jr.
Position:BEST OF TRAVEL: READERS' CHOICE
 
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Battling for international business passengers in a fiercely competitive market, Avianca says that one of the ways it seeks to differentiate itself from other airlines is by offering superior on-board service at competitive prices.

As the Bogota-based company works to position itself as the leading airline in Latin America, company executives point to the fact that Avianca provides business travelers attractive on-board entertainment and work options on most of its Airbus fleet, comfortable seating and a wide variety of beverage, snack and meal alternatives, depending on the length of each trip.

Business travelers participating in Latin Trade's annual survey Best of Business Travel Latin America agree. Avianca received the most votes in the categories of Cabin Comfort & Service and Food & Beverage. In both cases it beat Chile's LAN and Brazil's TAM.

Currently, Avianca has 61 aircraft in its fleet: 7 Airbus A330-200; 24 Airbus A320-200; 10 Airbus A319-100; 10 Airbus A318-100 and 10 Fokker Turbo Prop 50.

On flights originating in Colombia, Avianca makes both hot and cold meals more appealing by using freshly prepared domestic fruits, vegetables and other local ingredients. Passengers on international and domestic flights also receive a welcome beverage and a package of mixed nuts.

Since on-board service is such an important selling point, the airline says that it carefully oversees caterers and regularly performs meal checks on random flights to ensure food quality, freshness and presentation.

Menus operate on three different monthly cycles and are completely revamped each year. As is the case in other airlines, Avianca offers the most modern amenities in its newest airplanes. For example, the airline has individual video screens on its A319, A320 and A330 aircraft and shared screens on the A318s.

Business passengers on the newer Airbus planes (A319 to A330) have access to Avianca's "Sky Office," providing tools for businessmen and women to work effectively while flying. Sky Office allows passengers to display work from office files on their screens, insert USB flash drives, use and recharge iPods, as well as follow the flight's progress on a map, view live connections to other Avianca flights and operate/recharge other electronic devices.

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) says Avianca offers the best on-board entertainment system in South America because of the wide range of movies, TV series, shorts...

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