Star Alliance expands Latin American network
By Yun Suh-young
Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, has admitted two new members from Central and South America, expanding its network in the region.
Asiana Airlines, already part of Star Alliance, said Friday that Copa Airlines and Avianca-Taca group have been accepted as new members.
Copa Airlines, based in Panama, has 79 airplanes and uses 64 airports in 29 countries. The Avianca-Taca group is a merger company of Colombia’s Avianca Airlines and Taca Airlines that spans Colombia, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Peru.
Avianca Airlines operates 62 aircraft landing at 56 airports in 18 countries; Taca Airlines runs 46 planes to 130 airports in 22 countries.
Now these airlines have joined, Star Alliance has a membership of 27 carriers that travel to 193 countries, transporting around 669 million passengers via 1,356 airports.
The new membership opens the way for Korean passengers to travel to the Central and South American region more easily.
Passengers of Asiana Airlines can travel to Panama and Colombia through Los Angeles and New York. When using Copa Airlines or flights from the Avianca-Taca group, passengers will be given Asiana mileage points, using a one-stop check-in service and the mutual lounge shared by the companies.
Asiana Airlines plans to strengthen its cooperative relationship with the Avianca-Taca group to provide more convenient services for passengers and is pushing to establish a code share relationship with Copa Airlines. Code sharing is an aviation business arrangement where two or more airlines share the same route.
Meanwhile, a Korea-Panama aviation meeting was held in Panama City Wednesday, in which they agreed to set up a foundation to further relationships between airlines in the two countries.