QCOSTARICA – Two of Latin America’s biggest airlines, Avianca and GOL, have signed an agreement to create a leading air transportation group across Latin America, under the holding company structure named Abra Group Limited.
Interestingly this comes just shortly after Avianca announced plans to acquire low-cost carrier Viva Air, so Abra Group will also own that airline.
The Avianca and GOL merger would create a new parent company. With this plan, the two airlines will maintain their own branding but would benefit from other synergies.
Now it remains to be seen whether regulators approve the deal, and also what exactly this would mean for the future of the two carriers’ partnerships, alliances, and business models.
After all, there are quite some differences there.
It’s claimed that customers will benefit from the best fares, access to more destinations, more frequent flights, seamless connections, and the ability to earn and redeem points across Avianca LifeMiles and GOL Smiles
The plan is for the group to be co-controlled by the principal shareholders of Avianca and the majority shareholders of GOL.
Obviously, multiple countries will have to sign off on this, so we can assume this deal is far from a sure bet, especially with the recent announcement that Avianca would acquire Viva Air.
In Costa Rica, how will a possible merger affect Avianca Costa Rica, the country’s national airline?
Avianca Costa Rica S.A., formerly known as LACSA (Spanish: Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A.), based in San José, is minority-owned by the Synergy Group, a South American conglomerate created and owned by Germán Efromovich, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, operating several airlines in South America, among which are Avianca Group (formerly Avianca Holdings & AviancaTaca Holding), with a 66.66% stake.
Avianca Costa Rica operates international scheduled services to over 35 destinations in Central, North and South America. The airline previously used the TACA/LACSA moniker when it was a subsidiary of Grupo TACA. In May 2013, following Avianca’s purchase of Grupo TACA, Avianca Costa Rica became one of seven nationally branded airlines (Avianca Ecuador, Avianca Honduras, etc.) operated by Avianca Group of Latin American airlines.
The short and long answer, we will have to wait and see, if and when the Aviana/GOL takes place.