Star Alliance Announces Avianca Brazil’s Departure From Alliance

From the start of September, Ocean Air Linhas Aéreas, formerly Avianca Brazil, will cease to be a member of the Star Alliance. The news follows the carrier’s air operator certificate being withdrawn earlier this year.

Avianca Brazil, Star Alliance
Avianca Brazil will leave the Star Alliance at the end of the year. Photo: Joao Carlos Medau via Flickr

Headquartered in Frankfurt, Star Alliance is one of the world’s largest airline alliances alongside oneworld and SkyTeam. Avianca Brazil joined the alliance as a connecting member on the 22nd of July 2015. However, after a little over four years in the alliance, the airline and alliance are going their separate ways. The carrier has been in bankruptcy protection for several months now.

Ocean Air Linhas Aéreas

Ocean Air Linhas Aéreas is the current name of the airline that was formerly known as Avianca Brazil. The airline is currently without an air operators certificate after the Brazillian Authorities suspended it towards the end of May, according to Reuters.

Business Traveller adds that the airline’s slots at one of Sao Paulo’s airports were distributed between other airlines, rather than continuing to go unused. This same problem caused Etihad to up Heathrow flights earlier this year in the wake of Jet Airways’ collapse.

Star Alliance, Avianca Brazil, Star Alliance Members
The Star Alliance will be left with 27 members. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Bye-bye Star Alliance

In just 13 days Avianca Brazil will cease to be a member of the Star Alliance. As such, the alliance’s membership number will drop down to 27 airlines. Jeffrey Goh, the CEO of 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 carriers offering Brazil services

Eleven carriers will still operate flights to Brazil under the Star Alliance umbrella. These are:

  • Air Canada;
  • Avianca;
  • Air China;
  • Copa Airlines;
  • Ethiopian Airlines;
  • Lufthansa;
  • Swiss
  • South African Airways;
  • TAP Air Portugal;
  • Turkish Airlines;
  • and United Airlines.

This will mean that, despite the loss of Avianca Brazil, 40% of the alliance’s remaining airlines will serve the South American country.

Avianca Brazil Star Alliance Members
Avianca Brazil lost it’s air operator’s certificate earlier this year. Photo: Laurent Errera via Wikimedia

About Star Alliance

Star Alliance was founded in 1997 by five founding members. These were Air Canada, Lufthansa, SAS, Thai Airways, and United Airlines. The five points on the alliance’s star logo represent these five founding airlines. Following the departure of Avianca Brazil, the alliance will be back down to 27 members. Meanwhile, oneworld Alliance and SkyTeam have 39 members between them. Every year the alliance carries in excess of 700 million passengers.

What do you make of Avianca’s departure from Star Alliance? Let us know in the comments!