Will Delta Build an Airline of the Americas? In Pursuit of Colombia’s Avianca. United, too.

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The WSJ reports Delta and United among airlines interested in purchasing Colombia’s Avianca.


Let’s not dwell on United beyond that they attempt to do whatever Delta does. Avianca is in Star Alliance and has limited alliance collaboration with United.

No airline or alliance is truly pan-American. We can conceive of the Americas as 6 broad zones: Canada, US, Mexico + Central America, Caribbean, northern South America, southern South America.

You can argue Mexico and Central America are distinct, effectively they are, though Central America would essentially be another Caribbean were it not for Copa’s powerhouse regional hub in Panama.

The Caribbean is mostly leisure and served by motley routes and airlines based heavily on current and former colonial ties, so is excluded here.

Star Alliance is closest to full coverage with Air Canada, United, Copa, and Avianca. TAP helps with Brazil viz Europe, though southern South America and Mexico are their big gaps.

OneWorld has US and extensive South America coverage in LATAM. They are shut out of Canada.

SkyTeam has Delta and AeroMexico. Aerolinias Argentinas is, let’s say, niche.

Alliances only go so far. Delta’s moves have been the most interesting:

The Delta relationship with Gol works well in customer experience, and includes SkyMiles earn and redeem. WestJet is currently more limited in customer experience and does not provide for SkyMiles redemptions.

Will Delta cobble together the first true airline of the Americas?

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David Marquette
David Marquette
6 years ago

now, back on topic: Delta wants growth in the Americas, it has to look beyond USA, and Canada. Hence its soon 49% interest in Aeromexico. Avianca’s Panama & Bogota hubs would be great compliments to MEX. MEX is not many yrs from a new mega airport; Aeromexico owns that market. Deep S America are overnight flights, so thats different model AA/LATAM has done with with from MIA, DFW, JFK. Delta though could compete in Mex, Carib, Central & No S America thru, Atlanta, Panama, MEX, Bogota.

6 years ago

I hope this will never happen as United and Delta means devaluation.

6 years ago

Think it’s time BoardingArea ponies up for a copy editor. Way too many typos in that article. Not a knock on your writing per se, but I would be a good resource for you bloggers who are under pressure to be “real time”