United Avianca Partnership

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In late January, ATW reported that Avianca Holdings SA, one of the Latin America’s largest airlines, announced that they were considering entering into a commercial alliance with United Continental Holdings.  Though Avianca and United are already partners through Star Alliance, Avianca is in search of new and tailored agreements that will speed up its growth.

Here’s the official statement from the company:

“The board of directors of Avianca has authorized Avianca to carry out all the analysis and other steps that are required for a potential strategic-commercial alliance with United Airlines.”

Very little is known, however, of the details of this partnership, for which reason we’ll need to wait a bit to know more about how this will impact United customers.

United did have a stake in Copa Airlines years ago, and this could be a similar arrangement that will give both carriers codeshare benefits moving forward.  Given that Delta has  a stake in Gol, and American is currently in a joint venture with LAN, it’s good to see United making moves to compete in the Latin America market.  Note that it appears Delta had interest in a venture with Avianca, and United is certainly more than happy to get in the way of that to not further lag behind Delta.  I’m excited about the possibilities, as I’ve never flown Avianca before.

However, Bloomberg and Reuters have covered a lawsuit that has stemmed from this in-the-works expanded partnership, perhaps making this yet another wild ride for United.  I’ll defer any additional information about the intricacies of this lawsuit to those who know the law better than I do and can therefore make informed comments that add value.

Featured image from Avianca’s website.

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