Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines have been inducted into the Star Alliance, cementing the alliance’s presence in Latin America and adding nearly 50 more airports to its network.
“With Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines our customers now enjoy increased connectivity across the Americas by connecting through five new Star Alliance hubs right in the middle of the American continent,” remarked Mark Schwab, CEO of Star Alliance.
Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines now being part of the Star Alliance network, passengers from within and outside the region will be able to connect through the Copa Airlines hubs in Panama City and Bogota; and the Avianca and TACA Airlines hubs in Bogota, San Salvador, Lima and Costa Rica’s capital San Jose.
In addition to the alliance’s network, Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines customers will also gain access to the full breadth of the global Star Alliance benefits by using their existing frequent-flyer memberships to collect and redeem miles on all member carriers.
Those customers with higher-status privileges in the LifeMiles program of Avianca and TACA Airlines or in Copa Airlines’ Mileage Plus program will be entitled to Star Alliance Gold benefits. These offer priority services across the whole network, including extra baggage allowance, priority baggage delivery and access to more than 990 lounges world-wide.
At the same time, holders of frequent-flyer cards of the other Star Alliance member carriers will be offered the Star Alliance frequent flyer benefits when travelling on the Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines network.
The Star Alliance Round the World fare can now offer customers routings which include destinations such as the Galapagos Islands, Cuzco and the Jungles of Central America, as well as many beach resorts in the Caribbean.
Avianca and TACA Airlines (which are both owned by AvianceTaca Holding SA following completion of their merger in early 2010) serve more than 100 destinations around the world, operating a fleet of more than 150 modern short-, medium and long-range aircraft.
The carrier group directly employs more than 17,000 people and has more than three million members in its loyalty program.
Avianca and TACA Airlines each consolidate several smaller Latin American carriers and the two airlines offer a combined network focusing on North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and cities in Europe. TACA began negotiations for Star Alliance membership in 2008.
The two airlines of Copa Holdings, Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, serve 64 destinations in 29 countries. The group recently strengthened its presence in Colombia by rebranding Aero Republica to Copa Airlines Colombia.
Copa Airlines’ Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama, is Central America’s largest hub, with major traffic from the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Copa’s entrance into the Star Alliance reinforces its 12-year alliance with Continental Airlines, now part of United Continental Holdings.
As of today, the Star Alliance network comprises 27 members offering more than 21,500 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.
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