Avianca and TACA Join Together to Create Formidable Latin Airline

Avianca, Mergers/Finance, TACA

Watch out, LAN. There’s going to be another Latin mega-carrier now that Avianca and TACA have decided to come together to form . . . AVIANCTACA? Ok, they’re Avianca and TACA Mergenot going that far. In fact, the brands will stay separate, but this is an interesting development in Latin America.

Avianca is based in Bogota, Colombia, and it traces its routes to SCADTA, an airline founded in 1919. That makes Avianca one of the oldest airlines in the world. Of course, it has had its ups and downs with management changes and insolvency. In recent years, it has seemed to regain solid footing under its latest ownership group, Synergy Group. This group also owns AeroGal and VIP in Ecuador along with OceanAir in Brazil.

On the other side, we have TACA, the group formed by Central American carriers TACA (El Salvador), NICA (Nicaragua), LACSA (Costa Rica), and Aviateca (Guatemala). They also started TACA Peru in the last few years.

So now the airlines are coming together to form a mega-carrier covering much of Latin America. The plan is to keep separate brands but consolidate management. Yes, it’s the Republic Airways of South America.

It looks like the senior management team will be shuffled between the two carriers. I don’t know a lot about Avianca’s team, but if they’re smart, they’ll make sure that TACA’s team sticks around. They have a very bright group of people over there and they’ve done a fantastic job with that airline group.

What this means for customers is still not clear. Avianca recently resumed its codeshare with Delta, but it also partners with Star-carrier Air Canada and oneworld-carriers Iberia and Mexicana. Meanwhile, TACA has been aligning itself with Star Alliance carriers, though it has yet to officially join. So will this new airline come together and move into a single alliance? It definitely won’t be oneworld with LAN a member, but the others could be up for grabs if they so chose. Regardless, this does create a fairly formidable presence throughout Latin America.

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7 comments on “Avianca and TACA Join Together to Create Formidable Latin Airline

  1. This will be an interesting one to watch. As you said CF, Avianca is strong largely in South America (the northern part) and TACA is the leader in Central America. Certainly, between TACA and Avianca/Synergy Group, this combination covers most of Latin America.
    Still, the Southern part of South America is really still left out of this marriage. As you know, LAN, TAM and GOL are the big boys there, along with Aerolineas Argentinas and niche players like Pluna. Avianca-Taca won’t be a huge player in Chile, Argentina or Brazil, (the Synergy Group’s Brazil effort, OceanAir is a small player in Brazil), and Uruguay and Paraguay aren’t big markets. Hmm…AviancaTacaGol, anyone?

  2. So is this just TACA and Avianca getting buddy buddy or is Avianca teaming up with all of Groupo TACA?

  3. CF are you sure grupo synergy owns aero gal? i am not so sure. rumor is all they want from taca is the taca-peru..operation..they still have a long way to go to challenege LAN..or even COPA .ocean air has the potential…as brazil is a dynamo and they only tap like 2.5% market share. if they can streemline their fleet and be an all airbus operator, get rid of the dorniers, 737, 767,md 80….and actively cross fleet…they do seem to lack some top management…waysa peru was a complete failure…vip has been skidding…

  4. dan powers wrote:

    CF are you sure grupo synergy owns aero gal? i am not so sure.

    They’ve signed a memorandum of understanding for 80% of the company, but the deal has not been finalized. So yes, it’s possible this won’t happen.

    Are these guys going to be able to challenge LAN right now? No, but it’s the first credible potential alternative to emerge.

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