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Avianca, the second oldest airline in the world has filed for bankruptcy protection in a US court

Colombian operator Avianca, the world's second-largest airline, has filed for bankruptcy because of the "unpredictable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," CNN reports.

The announcement was made through an announcement on the company's website. The decision to go bankrupt was made to "protect and maintain operations" during the pandemic.

Avianca has 21,000 employees in South America, and almost all countries where it operates have introduced total or partial travel restrictions.

Avianca was founded in 1919 in the Colombian city of Barranquilla by German immigrants. Initially, the company was called SCADTA and operated Junkers 13 aircraft. The name Avianca was adopted in 1949. The company now has a fleet of 173 aircraft and carried over 30 million passengers in 2018.

The oldest airline in the world is KLM, also founded in 1919.