Gol and Avianca create the largest air travel group in Latin America

Airlines will maintain separate operations and their own brands. New holding company still subject to regulatory approval

Brazilian Gol and Colombian Avianca announced on Wednesday an agreement between their shareholders to form a holding company that will control the two companies. The new group, called Abra, aims to “create a leading air transportation group across Latin America”.

In the statement, the companies stressed that Gol and Avianca will continue to operate separately “to maintain independent brands, talent, teams, and culture while benefiting from greater efficiencies and investments under common aligned ownership”.

The transaction between Gol and Avianca is expected to take place in the second half of 2022, according to Reuters. As is necessary in this type of agreement, it will still be evaluated by regulatory authorities.

“This agreement places Abra’s airlines in a position to lead air travel within the region – serving a population of over one billion and GDP of nearly three trillion US dollars – providing significant opportunities for capacity and revenue growth. Our unique enterprise structure will allow each airline to drive results by maintaining their independent brands, talent, teams, and culture and will provide employees more opportunities for personal and professional growth at every stage of their careers,” said Constantino de Oliveira Junior, Abra Group’s CEO.

Avianca currently operates 100 aircraft in Colombia, mostly A320s, with 55 A320-200s and 13 A320neos. Gol, in turn, has 142 aircraft, all Boeing 737s, of which 32 are 737 Max models.

As Avianca still has operations in other countries, and adding Viva’s planes, the Agra Group’s total fleet will be even larger.

Abra’s Board of Directors

Constantino de Oliveira Júnior, founder of Gol, will be designated as CEO of Abra Group, while Roberto Kriete, currently in charge of Avianca, will take over as president. Adrian Neuhause and Richard Lark will serve as co-chairs.

Recently, Avianca also reached an agreement to take over the low-cost company Viva so that it becomes part of the Avianca Group. The new holding company said it holds a 100% non-controlling economic interest in Viva’s operations in Colombia and Peru, as well as convertible debt representing a minority investment in Chile’s Sky Airline.

Images: Avianca Airbus – JTOcchialini, Gol Boeing – Rafael Luiz Canossa

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