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Colombia is facing impacts that reduce the growth capacity of air passenger transport

ALTA calls on the Colombian Government to make decisions to promote an essential service for the population and a sector that creates millions of jobs

March 30, 2023

ALTA NEWS - Colombia is facing impacts that reduce the growth capacity of air passenger transport

March 30, 2023 – In January 2023, domestic air passenger traffic decreased 1% compared to 2022, a sign of the downward trend that Colombia could have in 2023 if measures are not taken in a timely manner.


The drop in the domestic passenger traffic is mainly explained by an increase in the final price of tickets. Such prices have been impacted by:

  1. Increase in fuel costs, which represents 50% of operating costs.
  2. Increase in domestic costs as a result of 13.28% inflation as of February 2023.
  3. Strong devaluation that impacts roughly 65% of the airlines' operating costs.
  4. Different fees and contributions updated with inflation, such as the airport fee (payment made by passengers to the airport for the use of the air terminals, which is collected by the airlines), stamp tax, air navigation services, among others.
  5. Increase of almost 4 times the sales tax (VAT), which is now at 19% of the ticket value after a transitory reduction during the pandemic that lowered it to 5%.


Most of the factors are not controllable, such as the international fuel price, however, the national government has the capacity to act in terms of taxation, which significantly impact the final price.


ALTA's CEO, José Ricardo Botelho, shares: "Colombia was the first country in the region to recover its pre-pandemic levels. Colombia's domestic passenger traffic recovered in November 2021, while the second country in the region to recover such levels was Mexico, 6 months after Colombia. Peru did so one year after Colombia. Argentina did so by January 2023. Brazil, Chile and Ecuador have not recovered their pre-pandemic levels by January 2023. Colombia's rapid recovery was not by chance. It is largely due to the VAT reduction, which generated greater access to this essential service for the population. Colombia was the only country in the region to implement such a policy and, therefore, it was the first country in the region to recover its pre-pandemic passenger traffic levels."


Colombia is going through a special juncture in terms of air transport. It is a critical moment to implement a State Agenda that prioritizes air transport and, thus, the connectivity, jobs and socioeconomic development it generates for the country. Not only because it is the most efficient and safe means of transport, but also because it is a powerful economic activator that provides opportunities for the entire population. More connectivity and more travelers generate a greater demand for hotel services, taxis, restaurants, services that in turn generate taxes, so the economy as a whole will generate higher tax revenues. In this sense, Colombia's Ministry of Transport has requested Congress to reduce the VAT tariff at a time when a bill called the National Development Plan is being discussed. Colombia is the second country in the region with the highest ticket sales tax (VAT). Countries such as Brazil and Chile do not have such taxes.


"Colombia is at a critical moment and it is necessary to work together in order to strengthen the connectivity of the country, a fundamental service for the population and to create millions of direct, indirect and induced jobs in a nation that demands efforts in terms of employment, considering the great impact of tourism on the Colombian economy, which currently has a 13% unemployment level," Botelho points out.

About ALTA

ALTA is a private non-profit association serving the airline industry whose objective is to develop a safer, more efficient, and sustainable aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean. ALTA coordinates collaborative efforts throughout the entire value chain maximizing the impact that aviation has on the economic and social growth of the region for the benefit of industry, nations, and populations served by air transport.


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For more information, please contact:

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Liliam Rezende Possa

Brazil Communications Consultant

Mauricio Castillo

Head of Aviation Technology, Cyber and Fraud Prevention

Mauricio is an Electronic and Telecommunications Engineer from San Francisco University in Ecuador. He counts with more than 12 years of experience in the implementation of technology projects for New Quito International Airport and Itau Bank in Brazil. Mauricio brings his experience as Customer Service Manager and Business Development Manager for the Passenger Solution Line at SITA, where he implemented Reservations, Ticketing, Departure Control Systems and E-commerce Airlines projects.

Claudio Terry

Head of Cargo & Security
Claudio holds a postgraduate degree in Production Engineering from the Brazilian National Institute of Technology and a degree in Foreign Trade from UNESA.
With an extensive career of more than 30 years in the aviation industry, among his past positions, he worked as: Logistics Project Manager at VARIGLOG, Head of Cargo at AVIANCA Brazil, Manager of Cargo Campaigns at IATA in Brazil, Safety Manager at GRUAIRPORT, Business Manager at Air Cargo and Airline Marketing at Regional Airports of the Brazilian Foreign Trade Company (CBCE).  On his last job, he worked as logistics operator consultant for the setup and certification of a new cargo airline.
Regarding hazardous materials, Claudio has been an expert and worked as an advisor for the Brazilian government on the UN and ICAO dangerous goods panel in the early 2000.

Nathália Neves

Communications Support Brazil

Jornalista com 16 anos de experiência em conteúdo online, impresso, social media, emissoras de televisão, produção de eventos, gerenciamento de crise e assessoria de imprensa.

Com MBA em Gestão Estratégica da Comunicação Corporativa – Marketing, pela Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Nathália Neves já atendeu clientes como: Governo Federal brasileiro, Shopping Iguatemi, LG Electronics, Metalock® Brasil, Unimed, Usiminas, C&A, Peixe Urbano, Drogaria Rosário, Brasal Refrigerantes, Natura, Anefac, Câmara de Comércio Suíça (Swisscam), Associação Nacional de Farmacêuticos Magistrais (Anfarmag) e outros.

Além da experiência em comunicação corporativa, também exerceu como produtora na TV Record e TV Brasil na cobertura do Congresso Nacional.

Nathália Neves

Communications Support Brazil

Periodista con 16 años de experiencia en contenidos en línea, prensa escrita, medios sociales, cadenas de televisión, producción de eventos, gestión de crisis y relaciones con la prensa.

Con un MBA en Gestión Estratégica de Comunicación Corporativa – Marketing por la Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Nathália Neves ha trabajado con clientes como: Gobierno Federal Brasileño, Shopping Iguatemi, LG Electronics, Metalock® Brasil, Unimed, Usiminas, C&A, Peixe Urbano, Drogaria Rosário, Brasal Refrigerantes, Natura, Anefac, Swisscam, Associação Nacional de Farmacêuticos Magistrais (Anfarmag) y otros.

Además de experiencia en comunicación corporativa, también trabajó como productora en TV Record y TV Brasil en la cobertura del Congreso Nacional.

Nathália Neves

Communications Support Brazil

A journalist with 16 years of experience in online content, print, social media, television stations, event production, crisis management, and press relations.

With an MBA in Strategic Management of Corporate Communication – Marketing from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Nathália Neves has served clients such as the Brazilian Federal Government, Iguatemi Shopping, LG Electronics, Metalock® Brazil, Unimed, Usiminas, C&A, Peixe Urbano, Drogaria Rosário, Brasal Refrigerantes, Natura, Anefac, Swisscam, National Association of Magistral Pharmacists (Anfarmag) and others.

In addition to experience in corporate communication, she also worked as a producer at TV Record and TV Brasil in the coverage of the National Congress.

Santiago Valencia

Head of Maintenance and Technical Purchase

Santiago é Engenheiro Industrial e Especialista em Negociação pela Universidad de los Andes em Bogotá, Colômbia e tem ampla experiência no mercado de aviação comercial, particularmente em Manutenção e Abastecimento Estratégico Aeronáutico. Durante nove anos ele ocupou vários cargos na Avianca, tornando-se Gerente de Suprimentos Estratégicos. Lá ele teve a oportunidade de participar da negociação de vários contratos estratégicos para a empresa aérea durante o processo de reestruturação pós-pandêmica. Ele complementa sua formação aeronáutica com mais de dezesseis anos de experiência em artes cênicas, bem como um interesse em projetos sociais e ambientais na América Latina.

Santiago Valencia

Head of Maintenance and Technical Purchase

Santiago es Ingeniero Industrial y Especialista en Negociación de la Universidad de Los Andes en Bogotá, Colombia. Cuenta con amplia experiencia en el mercado de la aviación comercial, particularmente en Mantenimiento y Abastecimiento Estratégico Aeronáutico. Durante nueve años ocupó diversos cargos en Avianca, y llegó a ser Gerente de Abastecimiento Estratégico. Allí tuvo la oportunidad de participar en la negociación de varios contratos estratégicos para la aerolínea durante el proceso de reestructuración post pandemia. Complementa su formación en aviación con más de dieciséis años de experiencia en las artes escénicas, así como su interés por proyectos sociales y medioambientales en Latinoamérica.

Santiago Valencia

Head of Maintenance and Technical Purchase

Santiago is an Industrial Engineer and Specialist in Negotiation from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and has extensive experience in the commercial aviation market, particularly in Maintenance and Strategic Aeronautical Supply. For nine years he held various positions at Avianca, becoming Strategic Supply Manager. There he had the opportunity to participate in the negotiation of various strategic contracts for the airline during the post-pandemic restructuring process. He complements his aviation background with more than sixteen years of experience in the performing arts, as well as an interest in social and environmental projects in Latin America.