It is the third day since live air announced the immediate cessation of its operations through a statement that did not give alternatives to its travelers and, although the panorama has changed, a large number of people are still waiting for a response to their situation.

On the same Monday, February 27, those travelers who were passing their bags at the counter saw their planes cut short.. In fact, EL TIEMPO learned of the case of a woman who traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, who was detained by Migration because when passing her ticket an error was generated.

There wasn’t a problem with his passport, just that not even the staff at El Dorado airport knew what was going on.

All those people who had nowhere to go spent the night there. They slept on the floor or on their own suitcases, since the airline did not cover the lodging expenses. In the case of Some Peruvian citizens (only those with children or the elderly) can go to a hotel by management of the Consulate of that countrybut those who went to Argentina had no other choice.

This group of people was heading to Argentina, where they are residents.


Mauricio Moreno. TIME

The next day, Tuesday, February 28, the situation was even more critical, as people who had a flight that same day arrived. Many of them found out at the airport that they could no longer fly. «I arrived around 5:30 and I started walking around the airport because I couldn’t find the airline, when I got here (at the counter) I didn’t find anything, talking to the people who were waiting I found out that Viva stopped its operation,» he told her. Mrs. Patricia to this medium.

What hurts you are the illusions of the girl, we were going to see the sea for the first time

She was traveling alone to Barranquilla, but in other cases entire families were left stranded. This is what happened to Juan Sebastián, who was going from Fusagasugá to Cartagena with his wife and seven-year-old daughter: «How is one going to lose money?», is what he wonders, but beyond that he had a dream bigger: «What hurts you are the illusions of the girl, we were going to see the sea for the first time.»

(Keep reading: One million travelers parked on the ground: the crisis of the airline Viva Air).

This is the card with which he was able to access the benefits of the coupon book.

Nelson Leal acquired a coupon book with eight non-transferable tickets that could be redeemed within a year, but he also bought two tickets to Riohacha for his companions, these are dated Sunday, March 5. Each trip cost 135,000 pesos, so at first it seemed like a good idea: «For more than seven years I was flying with Viva, even when they were called Viva Colombia, and I never had any complaints,» he recalls.

Now he asks for his money back, but he has not been able to contact the airline. «They do not answer, there is no way.»

On Wednesday EL TIEMPO returned to the El Dorado airport and met a young man who for work reasons had to go from Medellín to Mexico and then to the United States. Upon arriving at the José María Córdova airport, he found out that the flights were cancelled, so he thought about waiting, but only avianca flew to mexico and there were no seats.

We found a ticket, but we missed connections, hotel reservations, etc.

He opted to rent a car and travel to Bogotá with his colleagues – all lawyers – and two very special companions: Bull Dog puppies who were also going to Mexico, as his brother would adopt them.

“Fortunately we found a ticket on the Volaris airline for tonight, but we lost connections, hotel reservations, etc.,” says Jorge Yáñez.

In the end, he had to urgently pay $1,700,000 for his new ticket, knowing that he had bought the Viva Air ticket for almost half: 900,000 pesos.

This pair of puppies have also suffered the consequences of the suspension of flights.

“They asked us to notify them of all the expenses and that the airline would proceed with the reimbursement and 30% of the expenses, but being a lawyer, I know that this will not be immediate. If it goes into liquidation it will take a while, ”he adds. In fact, the president of the company, Francisco Lalinde, told ‘BLU Radio’ that «at this moment we do not have the capacity to return money» due to the cash flow, which only allows them to operate for seven days and cover the liquidations of the employees.

(Also read: Humanitarian flight will evacuate 180 of 372 Viva Air travelers from San Andrés).

Meanwhile, the people affected by this crisis They await a new communication from Aerocivil in which they clarify what will happen to flights after March 2. This is the case of Richard León, who with the illusion of going on vacation and seeing his mother in Argentina bought his tickets in advance; he paid 6 million pesos and traveled in April.

He was able to contact Viva Air through the call centerbut they cannot give you more information: «I only left my information and I have to wait for them to contact me,» he says, so he is determined to insist in the coming weeks.

For his part, the airline started a campaign under the hashtag #SalvemosAViva with the aim of achieving integration with a larger company. According to what they say, the proof that they want to continue is that Less than 200 of 1,250 of its employees took advantage of the voluntary retirement model that they were offered to cover their liquidation.

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Daisy Contreras