As part of the preparation process for entry into Star Alliance and with the aim of strengthening the portfolio of services available for travellers, Latin American carriers, Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, Avianca-TACA and US based airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines, (both wholly-owned subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings, Inc .) have announced their intention to establish bilateral cooperation agreements on code shares, as well as frequent flyer programs and other service benefits for users.
Copa Airlines has enjoyed a strong and solid strategic alliance including code-shares and product cooperation with Continental in the past and United Airlines today, which has lasted over twelve years.
For its part, Taca has maintained a strategic relationship with United Airlines since 2006, which has allowed passengers of both airlines to access each others markets from Latin America and the United States.
The first phase of the codeshare agreement will begin once approvals are received from the respective aviationl authorities and will include the operation of code share flights between the U.S. and Colombia; U.S. and Central America and between Central America and Colombia.
"The announcement of cooperation between these airlines is a milestone for Copa Airlines and a definite step in the process of joining Star Alliance. We now plan to sign bilateral cooperation agreements with AviancaTaca and thus form a wider network of services for the benefit of travelers, "said Roberto Junguito, president of Copa Airlines Colombia.
"We are focused on strengthening our world-class network and add more destinations to benefit customers," said Mark Schwab, vice president of Alliances, United Airlines."This strategic alliance with AviancaTaca expands our network coverage to new destinations in Colombia and will complement the current alliance with Copa Airlines," stated the manager.
Referring to this cooperation agreement, the Executive Chairman of AviancaTaca, Fabio Villegas Ramirez, said: "With this alliance, we at AviancaTaca will be at the height of the development dynamics of the region. It is a fact. Aviation plays an increasingly important role in trade, economic and social progress of nations.What we're doing now is to increase opportunities for connectivity and services for people who need and / or want to use quality air travel in Latin America and the world. " "Taca has maintained for years a very fruitful relationship with United Airlines, which is now strengthened by the latter's merger with Continental Airlines, adding a wealth of opportunities for our customers," added the manager.
Notes: On the benefits of the Codeshare
In the aviation industry a code share agreement is a contract signed by two or more airlines to jointly market the agreed routes, in order to offer more choices of routes, a greater number of connections, more destinations and better services to its users.
Customers Copa, Copa Airlines Colombia, United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Avianca-Taca may purchase tickets for the routes included in the agreement, all sales systems, offices, call centres and travel agencies. A single ticket will be enough to get around in various routes of the airline, which will result in more benefits for travelers, less connection time, elimination of multiple processes of check-in and optimization in baggage handling.