United Airlines in partnership with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca's affiliates are looking to bring to life a joint business agreement that offers more benefits and choices for customers. United Airlines, Copa and Avianca are all member airlines of the Star Alliance network. All three parties do not plan on fully implementing the joint business agreement until they receive the necessary government approvals.
Pending government approval, the collaborative revenue-sharing joint business agreement is anticipated to provide travelers, communities, as well as the marketplace for air travel between the United States and 19 countries in South and Central America with substantial benefits.
Some of the main highlights travelers can look forward to include competitive fares; seamless, integrated service in more than 12,000 city pairs; expanded codeshare flight options; new direct routes; extra flights on existing routes; reduced travel times; a more streamlined travel experience; better customer service; as well as increased economic benefits for customers and the communities the airlines serve.
The joint business agreement could also allow the companies to better coordinate flight schedules, align their frequent flyer programs, and improve airport facilities as the three carriers strive to serve passengers as if they were one single airline.
According to United Airlines' president Scott Kirby, this joint business agreement ‘represents the next chapter in U.S.-Latin American air travel'. United Airlines is thrilled to work with Avianca and Copa to deliver much-needed growth and competition to many underserved markets, all while offering a better overall travel experience for leisure and business travelers alike.
While no set date has been given as of now, United Airlines, Avianca and Copa intend to apply for regulatory approval of the joint business agreement and an accompanying grant of antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as other regulatory agencies sometime in the near future.