Star Alliance is expanding its presence in Latin America following the unanimous approval by its Chief Executive Board (CEB), to accept both Avianca-TACA and Copa Airlines as future member airlines.
The combined network of the two airline groups gives Star Alliance a more prominent footprint in Central America, the Caribbean and the northern and western regions of South America, as well as additional direct connections between Latin America and cities in Europe.
Star Alliance passengers will in future have access to a large range of new destinations and flights connecting through the Copa Airlines hubs in Panama City (Panama) and Bogota (Colombia) and the Avianca-TACA hubs in Bogota (Colombia), San Salvador (El Salvador), Lima (Peru) and San Jose (Costa Rica).
At the same time, the existing Avianca-TACA and Copa Airlines customer base will be able to access the global Star Alliance network and make use of the benefits that an alliance provides, such as collecting and redeeming miles on all member carriers.
The addition of the two carrier groups is the culmination of a strategic process to extend Star Alliance’s reach in Latin America. This began with the addition of Continental Airlines just over a year ago, improving connections between North America and Central and South America. Further network expansion and improved connectivity to, from and within South America was made possible by the joining of TAM Airlines in May.
Avianca-TACA and Copa Airlines will bring 46 new destinations to the Star Alliance network. Once integration is complete, the customers of the 31 alliance members will have access to more than 22,500 daily flights serving 1,292 destinations in 188 countries.
The integration teams from Star Alliance, Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines and the respective mentor carriers, Lufthansa and Continental, will now begin their work in order to achieve integration of both airline groups by mid 2012.