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One of Latin America’s largest airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday in New York, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated its business.

Avianca Holdings said in a statement that the move is aimed at continuing operations and preserving jobs when it is able to resume normal operations following a global health emergency that has grounded 90% of global air traffic. It said its own consolidated revenues had been slashed by 80%.

“The effects of the COVID-19 have brought us to face the most challenging crisis of our 100 years history as a company,” said Anko van der Werff, CEO of Avianca Holdings.

The airline said it is in conversations about assistance with governments in countries where it operates, particularly Colombia, its home base.

The airline says it carries 30 million passengers a year and is directly or indirectly responsible for 21,000 jobs in Latin America, including 14,000 in Colombia.

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Photo Credit: Avianca, one of Latin America's largest airlines, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Flckr