Country facts

Market overview

The aviation market in Colombia is a dynamic and vital component of the country’s transportation infrastructure, playing a crucial role in connecting its diverse regions and promoting both domestic and international tourism. Colombia’s geographical diversity, featuring major cities, coastal areas, and Amazonian locales, necessitates a robust aviation network to facilitate efficient travel and economic growth. 

At the heart of Colombia’s aviation sector are several key airlines, with Avianca standing out as the flagship carrier. Established in 1919, Avianca is not only one of the oldest airlines in the world but also a leading player in the Latin American aviation market, offering extensive domestic and international routes. Another significant carrier is LATAM Colombia, and the competition has led to more affordable prices and improved services for passengers. 

Colombia’s aviation infrastructure is supported by a network of airports, with El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá serving as the main hub. As one of the busiest airports in Latin America, El Dorado plays a pivotal role in the country’s connectivity, handling millions of passengers annually. Secondary airports, such as José María Córdova International Airport in Medellín and Rafael Núñez International Airport in Cartagena, also contribute significantly to the national and international aviation network. 

The Colombian government has taken the initiative to upgrade airport facilities, improve air traffic management systems, and liberalize air transport agreements to enhance international connectivity. These efforts have made Colombia an important air transport hub in the region, attracting investment and increasing its global reach.

Colombia’s aviation market is characterized by its significant contributions to national and regional connectivity, economic growth, and tourism. With a blend of historic carriers and modern infrastructure, alongside a forward-looking approach to development and sustainability, the aviation sector in Colombia is poised for continued expansion and innovation. 

Juan Arbelaez

Commercial Director

Juan Arbelaez stands as a towering figure in the aviation, travel, and tourism industry, with a distinguished career spanning more than three decades. His professional journey has seen him collaborate with Eastern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Aeromexico, Avianca, Lufthansa, flynas, and Spirit Airlines, along with global leaders in the car rental and hospitality sectors such as Hertz, AVIS, and Marriott International. His work has also involved representing renowned airlines like Pan Am and Cathay Pacific, showcasing his range and appeal in the industry. His experience with the hospitality industry has enabled him to be a key driving force behind the operation of VIP lounges at various airports in Colombia.

A master of strategy, Juan has been central to negotiating billion-dollar agreements, forging global alliances, and pioneering new routes across Latin America, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. His exceptional skill set spans business development, sales planning, and the intricate processes of business restructuring and transformation. Juan’s unique perspective, nurtured through extensive experience with both low-cost and legacy carriers, allows him to offer strategic insights crucial to multi-million-dollar investments, route development decisions, and the exploration of new business lines in the tourism sector. He has also assisted the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism in Colombia with the development of 15 airports in the country.

Juan Arbelaez embodies the spirit of innovation, leadership, and strategic foresight. His contributions to the aviation and tourism industries are not just about numbers and agreements; they reflect a deep commitment to enhancing global connectivity and fostering growth in the sectors he passionately serves. His pioneering initiatives have not only shaped the trajectory of the companies he has worked with but have also left a lasting impact on the global landscape of travel and hospitality. His career is a testament to his ability to navigate the complexities of the aviation and tourism industries, making him an invaluable asset and a guiding force in shaping the future of global travel.

Felipe Arbeláez

Managing Director

Felipe Arbeláez is a leading figure in the aviation and logistics industry, with a career spanning over two decades that includes prominent roles at key aviation players such as Delta Air Lines and Avianca Cargo. Over the years, he has held several senior leadership positions that have seen him overseeing operations with valuations over $200 million in Latin America. Felipe Arbeláez’s impact at the organizations he has been a part of is not merely operational; his strategic foresight has enabled them to surpass revenue projections by a staggering 50%, a testament to his belief in creating operations that are not only commercially viable but also significantly profitable.

Felipe’s prowess in business planning, particularly when it comes to the Latin American market, is unparalleled. His ability to devise commercial and operational plans that promise a 55% gross margin and generate millions of dollars in earnings before taxes is a testament to his strategic acumen and foresight. His expertise in tripling sales volumes underscores his exceptional talent in business development and market penetration, capable of assuming P&L responsibility for entire countries and regional markets, while reporting directly to the Board of Directors. Felipe has also played a critical role in implementing digital transformation solutions that enhance operational efficiency and client engagement, by adding value at each step in the process.

With an illustrious track record of driving growth and profitability, Felipe Arbeláez has cemented his reputation as a visionary leader capable of navigating the complex landscapes of Latin American markets with unparalleled expertise. Felipe is adept at consistently delivering exceptional financial results, positioning him as an indispensable asset to any organization. Equipped with a deep understanding of market dynamics and his ability to harness opportunities, he leverages these insights to forge ahead in the pursuit of excellence. Setting new benchmarks for operational excellence, he continues to inspire and lead the way forward, shaping the future of aviation and logistics in Latin America and beyond.