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.