Introduction

Avianca is the second largest airline in Latin American with an extensive network of destinations.  As a Star Alliance member, odds are if you are flying to Latin America from Europe on Lufthansa, your connecting flight will be on Avianca.

For short haul routes, Avianca flies primarily aircraft created by Airbus.  Furthermore, Avianca Business Class cabins on short haul routes has above average seats and food.  However, that depends on if the plane has been recently refurbished.

Avianca Airlines A320

Booking

As a member of the Star Alliance, award redemptions on Avianca are possible on partner frequent flier programs such as United, Singapore, and Lufthansa Airlines.  The rewards program for Avianca is called LifeMiles, which in certain circumstances, can provide some great award redemptions.

This flight was part of a larger itinerary that originated in Frankfurt, Germany on Lufthansa and was booked using LifeMiles.  Details on this booking can be found on my previous review of Lufthansa First Class.

Flight

Avianca 75 
Bogota (BOG) to Lima (LIM) 
Cabin: Business
Seat:  2A and 2C
Aircraft: A320
Flight Time: 3h

Flight Route

Cabin Atmosphere (5/5)

Interior of the cabin looked new with sleekly designed seats and classy color schemes.  For a smaller aircraft, Avianca made a good effort in designing the business class cabin to seem more premium.  On other airlines such as Lufthansa, their short haul business class cabin has little distinction from economy class.

Avianca Airlines Business Class Cabin on A320

Seat (5/5)

For a short haul flight, the seats on this plane were the best I’ve ever seen.  Not only did they look cool, they also had some interesting design features I’ve never seen before.

Instead of reclining, the entire seat slides up an down a plastic track behind the chair.  I’d estimate the front the seat slides forward about 1.5 feet and the top of the seat slides down 1.5 feet.   Quite an innovative engineering solution that provides maximum recline without much space between the seats.  For the three hour flight, I was perfectly comfortable.

Avianca Airlines Business Seat on A320

Avianca Airlines Business Seat on A320

Avianca Airlines Business Legroom

Another plus was a personal entertainment system for each seat in business class.  Its hit or miss to have entertainment systems on short flights but was happy that one was available.

Entertainment Screen

Remote Control

Headphones

Connecting Flight to Cusco (4/5)

After I landed in Lima, my connecting flight to Cusco was on an older Avianca A320.  The cabin looked a little dated compared to my previous flight.  However, the seats were plush with a good amount of recline.  Since this flight was only an hour, I assume Avianca did not bother upgrading the interior.

Older A320 Business Class Configuration

Legroom not that impressive

Food (5/5)

Again, for a short haul flight, the food was very good with the best chicken I’ve ever had on an airplane.  I was impressed by the table cloths and quality of plates as well.

Great food for a short flight

Service (4/5)

Service was friendly and efficient, with the plane looking very clean upon boarding.  My only complaint was the lack of gate announcements in English.  However, this is pretty common at airports in South America, in my experience.

Cusco Airport

Conclusion

In conclusion, Avianca is a large airline serving many destinations in Latin America.  As a member of the Star Alliance, many options are available for award bookings via partner frequent flier programs.  Finally, for short haul routes, the business class cabin experience is one of the best.

Bogota Airport

 

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