US airline seals deal with neighbours

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WASHINGTON, 4 December 2018: United Airlines announced a three-way deal at the weekend with Panama’s Copa and Colombia’s Avianca that will include revenue-sharing and cover 12,000 city pairs.

The US airline said the deal, which is subject to approval by regulators, builds on the existing partnership and will expand options available to passengers who can fly any of the three as if they were a single airline.

“It represents the next chapter in US-Latin American air travel,” United’s president Scott Kirby said in a statement.

The alliance will “bring much-needed competition and growth to many underserved markets,” he said.

The airline said the joint business agreement is “metal-neutral,” meaning the companies will plan flights and pricing jointly and share equally in the profits.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that United will lend money to German Efromovich, the Bolivian-born entrepreneur who owns just over half of Avianca, to repay a loan from Elliott Management Corp.

His Avianca shares will be put up as collateral for the loan, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Avianca told AFP the loan deal is separate from the JBA between the airlines.

© Agence France-Presse

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