Star Alliance has confirmed it will terminate the participation of Brazilian airline, Ocean Air Linhas éreas S/A (formerly operating as Avianca Brasil), effective 1 September 2019. Avianca Brazil joined Star Alliance in July 2015.
The decision follows months of bankruptcy protection and the withdrawal of Ocean Air’s Air Operating Certificate (AOC) by the Brazilian regulator, ANAC.
In April, Avianca Brasil was forced to cancel over 1,000 flights after it was required to return 18 aircraft to leasing companies, and suspended key international routes to the USA, from Sao Paulo to Miami and New York.
“The Star Alliance network maintains a significant and long-time presence in the Brazilian market continuously since its founding in 1997. As of 1 September 2019, the Alliance will number 27 member airlines,” the aviation group said.
Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance, said: “Initially joining Star Alliance in 2015, Avianca Brasil made important contributions to our customer proposition in the Brazilian market, and we regret this unfortunate development.
“I wish to stress that the exit of Avianca Brasil in no way affects the membership of Avianca S.A., our valued member based in Bogota, Colombia, which continues to be a significant contributor to the Alliance in South America.”
Eleven of the Star Alliance member airlines offer direct services to and from Brazil, namely: Air Canada, Avianca, Air China, Copa Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, South African Airways, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines and United.
Taken together, Star Alliance member airlines operate 588 weekly flights from 11 domestic points in Brazil to 17 Star Alliance hubs, offering connections to a further 738 international destinations, more than any other airline alliance.