COPA and Avianca to Join Star Alliance

Lucky beats me to the punch that Copa and Avianca will be joining Star Alliance.

Continental, which used to own a majority share of Panama City-based Copa, retains a 10% ownership and significant marketing relationship. The carrier had been a member of Skyteam but left with Continental, and had been alliance-less since then. It’s not a surprise to see this coming along with United and fully integrating into Star.

Columbian-based Avianca is merging with current Star Alliance member TAMUnited and Lufthansa partner TACA. Lucky thinks bringing Avianca and Copa into Star means that the combination of TAM and current oneworld carrier LAN will mean that that entity will be a oneworld carrier.

And that’s certainly the most likely scenario, it would be strange to see such large competitors as Avianca (merged with TACA though retaining its own marketing identity) and TAM/LAN in the same alliance. But it’s not out of the universe of possibilities, Star seems to just continue to grow and doesn’t lose out too many of the airlines it courts (the departure of Shanghai Airlines to Skyteam doesn’t really count and there’s no ‘splainin the Chinese guv’mnt sometimes, hah!).

Still, I’d have to say Lucky’s prediction does seem the most likely outcome.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary you may want to correct the following:

    “Columbian-based Avianca is merging with current Star Alliance member TAM. ”

    I think you may have meant LAN is merging with TAM (or Avianca with TACA?!)

  2. Yeah yeah I meant to say with TACA (a partner of United and Lufthansa but not Star member), that’s been fixed. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

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