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Avianca Brazil (formerly known as OceanAir) is a Brazilian airline based at Guarulhos International Airport, São Paulo. Avianca Brazil is Avianca's attempt to tap into the growing Brazilian aviation market and reinforce its pan-Latin America expansion strategy. Currently, Avianca Brazil operates to destinations across Brazil with its fleet of narrow body equipment.
Location of Avianca Brazil main hub (Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport)
122 total articles
28 total articles
Star Alliance considers new platform for low-cost airlines, targeting Brazil's Azul & India's IndiGo
The Star Alliance is looking at following SkyTeam in offering a partnership platform for low-cost and hybrid carriers. Star sees the new platform, which would fall short of full membership but provide a model for selected LCCs to work with members, improving coverage in key markets.
Star has started to court Brazilian LCC Azul and Indian LCC IndiGo to join the potential programme, which would facilitate connections with participating Star members. Star has been trying to find a solution for India since 2011, when efforts to bring in Air India as a planned new member were suspended, while earlier this year Brazil’s largest carrier, TAM, began the process of transitioning from Star to oneworld.
But Star’s plan for a hybrid and LCC platform is controversial. Some Star members are against the concept of bringing in LCCs, fearing it could water down the alliance’s offering. Star’s pursuit of Azul is particularly controversial as at the same time the alliance has begun working at bringing in full-service carrier Avianca Brazil.
Oneworld has increased its presence in Colombia, Latin America’s third largest market, with LAN Colombia formally joining as an affiliate member on 1-Oct-2013. LAN Colombia is the second largest domestic carrier in Colombia after Star Alliance member Avianca and has a small but growing international operation.
Colombia is an important growth market but the impact of adding a Brazilian member is much more significant. Oneworld has set a 31-Mar-2014 ascension date for Brazil’s largest carrier TAM, which is now part of the LATAM Airlines Group along with LAN Colombia and four other LAN-branded carriers that are already oneworld members.
With LAN Colombia and subsequently TAM, oneworld will become the largest alliance in Latin America with a projected 27% share of seat capacity. Star will still have a respectable 16% share, which could grow to about 18% based on probable new members, and will remain the dominant alliance in Colombia.
Brazil’s domestic market has cooled down along with the country’s slumping economy, recording RPK growth of less than 0.1% in 1H2013. While growth should return in 2H2013 it will be very modest and far below previous levels.
Brazil was one of the world’s fastest growing domestic markets in 2010 and 2011, when domestic RPK growth of 23.5% and 15.9% was recorded. Growth slowed to 6.8% in 2012 as carriers started to cut capacity and trim back on expansion plans.
Load factors have improved significantly since mid-2012, providing a glimmer of hope that capacity levels are now sustainable following a period of irrational competition. With capacity returning to more rational levels and four airline groups accounting for over 99% of the market following a wave of consolidation, profitability should eventually improve in the world’s fourth largest domestic market.
Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol recorded mixed fortunes during 1Q2013 as its overall losses widened year-over-year but yields and unit revenues improved at what appears to be at the expense of load factor. After recording annual losses for the last two years Gol is hoping an aggressive capacity reduction in the Brazilian domestic market place and a significant reduction in its workforce will help the carrier slowly improve its fortunes.
But Gol faces challenges in achieving its turnaround as company management believes it is uncertain that Brazil will record 2.5% GDP growth in 2013 while inflation is rising. The carrier feels positive about its position heading into the slow season in South America, but the timing of a full recovery for the carrier seems far from uncertain.
Gol pledges a financial turnaround as it records a second consecutive annual loss, of USD745 million
Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol was unable to turn its fortunes positive in 2012 and actually widened its loss for the year. Despite its attempts to combat the cooling Brazilian domestic market through marked capacity cuts and turning some of its attention to international services, Gol recorded a BRL447 million (USD222 million) loss for 4Q2012 and a BRL1.5 billion (USD745 million) negative result for the full year.
Gol believes the changes it has made with respect to its domestic supply and various cost-containment schemes should produce a positive operating result for 1Q2013. But the carrier made similar pronouncements during 2012 as it recorded four quarters of unprofitability, so the pressure is mounting on management to put some grit behind a pledged turnaround.
Unlike its major rival TAM, which is now part of the powerful LATAM Airlines Group, Gol does not have the benefit of large network to help it diversify from areas of weakness to more robust regions. Both Gol and TAM during 2012 had to combat softening demand that resulted from Brazil’s slowing economy. During 2012 GDP growth in Brazil was revised down to 2% from 4%, and during 2013 Gol is projecting growth of 2.5% to a maximum of 3%. This compares to GDP growth of approximately 7.5% growth in Brazil during 2010.
LATAM Airlines Group announced on 07-Mar-2013 that its TAM, TAM Paraguay and LAN Colombia subsidiaries would join its sister carriers in oneworld, confirming moves which had been considered a foregone conclusion for 18 months. The Star Alliance now faces the risk of not having a member in Brazil, one of the world’s most important growth markets, after TAM shifts from Star to oneworld in 2Q2014. But the void will not last long as Brazil’s fourth largest carrier, Avianca Brazil, will almost certainly join its sister carriers in Star, potentially by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol continues to be wooed by SkyTeam. With TAM moving to oneworld and Avianca Brazil expected to join Star, the stakes mount for SkyTeam while the benefit of maintaining independence for Gol diminishes.
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