Avianca Brazil Now Star Alliance Member

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Avianca Brazil has joined the Star Alliance effective today and ceremonies to celebrate this occasion are taking place in Sao Paulo. Avianca Brazil is owned by the same investor group that owns Colombia based Avianca.

Avianca Brazil Joins Star Alliance

Avianca Brazil Amigo Gold and Platinum members can now enjoy Star Alliance Gold benefits when flying on alliance airlines. Star Alliance Gold members are now eligible for Gold benefits when flying on Avianca Brazil.

Here’s is the press release from Star Alliance:

SÃO PAULO, Brazil – July 22nd, 2015 – At a special ceremony held at Guarulhos International Airport today, the Star Alliance member carriers welcomed their newest member, Avianca Brasil.

“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, CEO Star Alliance.

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 CEO of Avianca Brasil.

Avianca Brasil is the fastest growing airline in the country. From 2010 to 2014 it increased its market share from 2.6% to 8.4%. Until May of 2015 the airline continued this trend, reaching a cumulative market share of 9%.

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, which further strengthens Star Alliance’s position as the alliance with the most airlines in this market. Avianca Brasil adds 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. By connecting through Star Alliance hubs in these regions, passengers gain access to the worldwide network provided by the 28 member airlines that in total offer more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.

More than 2.7 million members of Avianca Brasil’s Amigo frequent flyer programme (FFP) can now make use of the full Star Alliance FFP benefits. Not only can they, for example, earn and redeem miles on all member airline flights, those with Amigo Gold and Diamond status can access more than 1,000 lounges across the globe, make use of extra baggage allowance, priority baggage delivery, separate check-in counters and priority boarding.

By the same token, members of the other Star Alliance FFPs will be granted the same benefits when travelling on Avianca Brasil.

The company’s flights, all operating under the “O6” IATA carrier code designator, will now be part of the Star Alliance fare products. The most popular one is the Round the World fare which allows customers to travel around the globe using any combination of the 28 member carriers. Furthermore Avianca Brasil will now also participate in the business oriented fare products, such as Star Alliance Corporate Plus.

In order to support the joining of Avianca Brasil, 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.

Conclusion

Star Alliance had a huge hole on its network when TAM merged with LAN and decided to switch to Oneworld. Avianca Brazil is the smallest of the Brazilian majors (behind TAM, Gol and Azul), but have plans to expand.

I have flown Oceanair (the real name of the airline) and Avianca Brazil both several times. Not sure what Gold benefits they can offer, as I am not aware of any lounges that they would be operating. It is welcomed addition to the Star Alliance nevertheless.

In the next few days, you should see other Star Alliance airlines adding the fare classes eligible for mile accrual and their levels for Avianca Brazil. Redeeming for Avianca Brazil flights should be available soon too.

When in Brazil, I just keep flying any of the four airlines listed (haven’t flown Azul yet – not fan of Campinas) here depending on the price and schedule. Fares then to be very competitive and I cannot see redeeming often for intra-Brazil flights.

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