United & Delta Bidding for Avianca Sale or Stake – WSJ

United and Delta are among the possible bidders for Latin America’s Avianca Holdings SA, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The US airlines are said to be weighing options including a full or partial sale. Avianca is working with advisers to raise $500M and could be open to a complete sale of the airline.

Avianca, one of the largest airline companies in Latin America, is based in Panama and owns carriers including its Colombian namesake and Tampa Cargo SA in that country, and AeroGal in Ecuador. In 2010, Avianca merged with Grupo Taca, which had airlines in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua and Honduras.

The airline serves more than 100 destinations in 28 countries, with 180 airplanes operating 5,607 weekly departures. The carrier of course also operates the very popular LifeMiles loyalty program (which a sale to UA or DL would probably mark the end of in the future…so let’s hope for a stake instead).

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