At a ceremony at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport on July 22, 2015, Avianca Brasil was formally accepted into the Star Alliance airline grouping filling the void left by TAM Airlines after it departed to join rival Oneworld following its merger with LAN Airlines and formation of the LATAM Group. “We are back where we belong in Brazil,” said Mark Schwab, chief executive officer, Star Alliance during the inauguration event.
This is actually the third time that Star Alliance has welcomed a major Brazilian carrier into the grouping having previously had Varig alongside TAM Airlines as a former member and will once again open up Latin America’s largest country to the international flights of its member airlines with new connection opportunities via São Paulo’s Guarulhos International and Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão–Antonio Carlos Jobim International airports.
“Adding Avianca Brasil to our network is an important step in enhancing our customer proposition in Latin America. Brazil is the most important aviation market on the continent and we are pleased that from today onwards, we can once again offer domestic connections in Brazil,” said Mark Schwab.
Originally founded in 1998, Avianca Brasil was established from the assets of independent carrier OceanAir in 2010. It is now among the strongest airlines in Brazil, serving 21 domestic destinations with over 200 daily flights. This year, it will carry over eight million passengers with a fleet of 41 aircraft and has become recognised as a prominent carrier in the local market thanks to its strong product and service proposition and modern fleet.
The carrier has been the fastest growing airline in Brazil over recent years and between 2010 and 2014 increased its market share from 2.6 per cent to 8.4 per cent. Over the first months of the current year the airline has continued this trend, reaching a cumulative market share of nine per cent, while at the same time investing in its development to support alliance entry.
“Today we are setting the future pace of our airline and close a two year process which saw us move to a new IT platform, review and update our internal processes and specific training programme for our employees to ensure they can provide the best possible service to customers. We are proud to be part of the most experienced airline alliance and are pleased to put Brazil back on the Star Alliance map”, said Jose Efromovich, president and chief executive officer, Avianca Brasil.
Further growth is predicted as Avianca Brasil and the other Star Alliance carriers serving the country will connect more passengers through the main Brazilian hubs in São Paulo – Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro – Galeão and Brasilia. In total 13 member carriers (Air Canada, Air China, Avianca, Avianca Brasil, Copa Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP, Turkish Airlines and United) now serve Brazil.
Avianca Brasil will add 15 new destinations in Brazil to the existing 12 which the Star Alliance member carriers already served, bringing the total to 27. In addition to Avianca Brasil’s domestic network, customers can fly internationally on 88 weekly flights from 12 airports in Brazil to destinations in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The combined network on offer via Star Alliance hubs of the 28 member airlines in these regions is 18,500 daily flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.
To support the arrival of Avianca Brasil into the grouping, Star Alliance has launched a special marketing campaign, built around the slogan “The Way Brazil Connects With The World”. It uses a visual metaphor of the Brazilian flag being formed out of 3D iconic buildings from across the globe, visualising the benefit that, through the inclusion of Avianca Brasil into the Alliance, the international Brazilian frequent traveller has a wider choice of travel than on any other alliance.
You can view the video below.
Our analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data looks more closely at the Avianca Brasil network based on published schedules for August 2015. With the exception of a weekly link from Fortaleza to the Colombian capital, Bogota, home of its counterpart, Avianca, the airline solely serves the Brazilian domestic market with flights on 52 city pairs.
Its largest presence is at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport from where it serves 18 destinations, but it also has significant networks from São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport (14 domestic destinations), Salvador da Bahia’s Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport (ten domestic destinations) and Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (nine domestic destinations).
In terms of capacity it is São Paulo Guarulhos that is its largest departure point with a 17.7 per cent share of available seats in August 2015, ahead of Brasilia (14.0 per cent), Salvador da Bahia (11.2 per cent), São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport (9.3 per cent) and then Rio de Janeiro Galeão (8.3 per cent).