Avianca group carrier Avianca Brasil has been inducted into the Star Alliance, at ceremony held at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport on July 22.
The induction of Avianca Brasil brings a Star Alliance presence back to South America’s largest air transport market, after former Star member TAM Airlines left the alliance on March 31, 2014 in order to join the rival oneworld alliance.
TAM’s new merger partner LAN Airlines already was a oneworld member. Avianca, Avianca Brasil’s Colombia- and El Salvador-based sister carrier in the Avianca Group, is already a member of Star Alliance.
“Adding Avianca Brasil to our network is an important step in enhancing our customer proposition in Latin America,” said Mark Schwab, CEO of Star Alliance. “Brazil is the most important aviation market on the continent and we are pleased that from today onwards, we can once again offer domestic connections in Brazil.”
“Today we are setting the future pace of our airline and close a two year process which saw us move to a new IT platform, review and update our internal processes and [create a] specific training program for our employees to ensure they can provide the best possible service to customers”, said Jose Efromovich, president and CEO of Avianca Brasil.
Avianca Brasil currently operates 40 Airbus A320-family aircraft (15 A318s, four A319s and 21 A320s, as well as one A330-200F freighter. It also has outstanding orders for 10 Airbus A350-900 widebodies.
From 2010 to 2014, Avianca Brasil increased its share of the Brazilian air transport market from 2.6 per cent to 8.4 per cent, according to Star Alliance. By May this year, Avianca Brasil’s share of the Brazilian market had reached 9 per cent.
Star Alliance predicts Avianca Brasil’s share of the Brazilian market will grow further, as Avianca Brasil and the other 12 Star Alliance carriers serving the country connect more passengers through the Brazil’s main international gateways and domestic hub airports of São Paulo Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro Galeão and Brasilia.
Air Canada, Air China, Avianca, Avianca Brasil, Copa Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines now serve Brazil. Star Alliance claims to be the alliance with the most airlines serving the Brazilian market.
Avianca Brasil adds 15 new destinations in Brazil to the 12 which the other Star Alliance member carriers already served, bringing the alliance’s total Brazilian destination list to 27 airports.
In addition to Avianca Brasil’s domestic network, Star Alliance customers can fly internationally on 88 weekly flights from 12 airports in Brazil to destinations in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Cumulatively, Star Alliance’s 28 member airlines offer more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.
More than 2.7 million members of Avianca Brasil’s Amigo frequent flyer program (FFP) can now make use of Star Alliance FFP benefits.
In addition to earning and redeeming mileage points on all member airline flights, those members with Amigo Gold and Diamond status can access more than 1,000 lounges across the globe, make use of extra baggage allowance, priority baggage delivery, separate check-in counters and priority boarding.
Members of the other Star Alliance FFPs will be granted the same benefits when travelling on Avianca Brasil.
All of Avianca Brasil’s flights, all operating under its ‘O6’ IATA flight-code designator, will now be included in Star Alliance fare products.
Avianca Brasil will now also participate in Star Alliance’s business-oriented fare products, such as Star Alliance Corporate Plus.