(CNN) – Avianca Holdings, a Colombian-based airline, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday in the Southern District of New York in the United States.
The “voluntary petition” was submitted as a result of the “unpredictable impact of the covid-19 pandemic,” according to a statement posted on its website on Sunday afternoon.
88% of the countries in which Avianca currently operates are under full or partial travel restrictions, according to additional information on the airline’s website.
The decision to declare bankruptcy was made with the intention of “protecting and preserving operations” during the pandemic. According to the press release, Avianca directly employs 21,000 people across Latin America.
“Avianca faces the most challenging crisis in our 100-year history as we navigate the effects of the covid-19 pandemic,” said Anko van der Werff, CEO of Avianca. “We believe that a reorganization under Chapter 11 is the best way to protect the essential air travel and air transportation services we provide in Colombia and other Latin American markets.”
According to Van der Werff, Avianca is the second oldest continuously operating airline in the world.