Avianca, TACA propose merger
Parent companies of Avianca, Colombia's biggest airline, and TACA, the biggest airline in Central America, have agreed in principle to form a single holding company.
The deal is contingent on regulatory and antitrust approvals.
If approved by regulators, it would combine the cargo and passenger activities of two of the leading airlines in the South America-Central America regions.
'The new group will capitalize on two of the best known airline brands in Latin America, two world-class product offerings, strong hubs and complementary networks, as well as two uniquely entrepreneurial and service-oriented cultures,' the companies said in a joint statement Wednesday. 'By leveraging the new group’s four hubs — in Bogota, Lima, San Salvador and San Jose, Costa Rica — Avianca and TACA will be able to offer customers better service to more destinations than any other carrier in the region.'
The two airlines will remain distinct brands but under the same umbrella. Together, they generate $3 billion in aggregate annual revenues and serve more than 100 destinations worldwide (including 75 cities in Latin America, what would be the largest number of any carrier. Jointly, the carriers would operate a fleet of 129 aircraft.
Avianca Chief Executive Officer Fabio Villegas will serve as CEO of the future group once the transaction is complete, the airlines said. TACA Chief Operating Officer Estuardo Ortiz would become COO and Avianca Chief Financial Officer Gerardo Grajales will become the group's CFO. TACA CEO and Chairman Roberto Kriete will become chairman of the new group’s board of directors.