A contract for the provision of services by a value of $500 million pesos, signed on December 27, 2004 with Invima, it was one of the starting points of the Subatours Travel Agency, in Bogotá, to achieve a lucrative business: the sale of travel planes and air tickets for the most powerful entities of the Colombian State.
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The company, founded in 1989 and whose offices are located in the most central part of the town of Suba, has managed to achieve since then, through public bidding, abbreviated selection or invitation, at least 634 state contracts with some 160 national and territorial state entities, according to registered data from Secop.
This hiring had its peak last year, 2022, when it fulfilled 112 agreements for the sale of national and international tickets with organizations such as the Military Forces, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, the Congress of the Republic (Senate and Chamber, the National Navy and four ministries: (Culture, Commerce, Transportation and Mines), among others
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These contracts meant to the company revenues of more than $85 billion pesos that year according to official contracting data compiled by the EL TIEMPO Data Unit.
And so far this year it has already signed 26 agreements, among others with the Ministry of Mines, the National Navy, National Parks, the Seine and TransMilenio. In total, according to SecopThese agreements have meant income for this company for a total of $19,655 million pesos.
Some of the most lucrative contracts
The most recent contract that Subatours built, on April 4, was for $2,672 million pesos, with the National Authority of Environmental Licenses. Its object is «supply of air tickets for the National Authority of Environmental Licenses».
But that’s not one of the juiciest. The largest was signed on April 19 by $7,201 millionfor the supply of all national and international air tickets intended for members of the National Army. (See the contract here).
Among the current contracts, one of those that stands out, due to its duration, was signed by Subatours with the Senate of the Republic on September 23, 2021, for $4,765 million pesos.
However, the contact has managed, through several other agreements, to extend its execution time until July 20 of this year.. In addition, more resources have been added, so its value increased to $7,280 million pesos.. (See here that contract)
Something similar happens with the agreement signed with the Attorney General’s Office. Between 2008 and 2022, Subatours has signed at least 20 agreements for the sale of national and international tickets for all officials of the prosecuting entity.
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The most recent one was built on November 21, 2022 and as with the Senate It is in progress and is valid until February 29, 2024.
According to the document, the contract has a final value of $25,492 million pesos, after two additions were made, one for $200 million and another for $800 million pesos. Its initial value was $24,692 million pesos. (See the contract here)
Specialized in state contracting
Subatours SAS was founded in 1989 by the marriage between Gustavo Delgado Garavito, current legal representative, and Martha García de Delgado. According to the Chamber of Commerce, It is a Simplified Stock Company (SAS).
Although it also offers vacation plans and tickets for the general public, it has specialized in serving state entities and government corporate accounts, which represents the vast majority of their income.
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In fact, according to a profile presented to the Colombian Federation of Municipalities in 2021, state contracting represents 98% of its total sales channel, while another 1% is attributed to «direct counter sales», such as vacation planes, tours, among others. The remaining percentage is for private sector corporate accounts.
“For the bidding process of Colombia Compra Eficiente in 2015, with a duration of three years, Subatours executed 51% of the public contracting processes for the supply of air tickets; the other 43% was executed by four remaining travel agencies”, the document states.
And he adds that currently it has 43% of the total market for the sale of tickets to state entities, compared to eight other travel agencies.
To date, the company has not registered disciplinary sanctions, fines, or any type of fiscal responsibility process, according to data from the Anti-Corruption Portal of Colombia (Paco).
RAFAEL QUINTERO CERON
Editor Data Unit EL TIEMPO