We have massive consolidation news in the Latin American region. Avianca and GOL Linhas Aereas shareholders have announced the launch of Abra Group Limited, a new holding. This new holding will own Avianca, GOL, Viva Colombia, Viva Perú, and a small investment in Chile’s Sky Airline.
Today, the principal shareholders of Colombia’s Avianca and the controlling shareholder of Brazil’s GOL have signed a landmark agreement to create a leading air transportation group across Latin America under a holding company structure named Abra Group Limited.
Avianca, GOL, Viva Colombia, and Viva Peru will be under this holding. Each airline will keep its independent brand, talent, teams, and culture. Abra Group Limited will also have a convertible debt representing a minority interest investment in Chile’s Sky Airline.
Abra Group will be co-controlled by the principal shareholders of Avianca and the majority shareholder of GOL and be led by management with significant airline experience across the region. Roberto Kriete, a former executive at TACA and Volaris, will serve as Abra’s Chairman; Constantino de Oliveira Junior, the founder of GOL, will be the group’s CEO; Adrian Neuhauser, the current CEO of Avianca and Richard Lark, the current CFO of GOL, will serve as the group’s co-presidents.
Additionally, certain financial investors have committed to invest up to $350 million in shares of Abra upon closing, further strengthening Abra’s balance sheet and liquidity position. It is expected the closing of the transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022, subject to customary closing and regulatory conditions.
Abra leading airline group in the region
Constantino de Oliveira Junior, Abra Group’s CEO, said: “This agreement places Abra’s airlines in a position to lead air travel within the region – serving a population of over one billion and GDP of nearly three trillion US dollars – providing significant opportunities for capacity and revenue growth. Our unique enterprise structure will allow each airline to drive results by maintaining their independent brands, talent, teams, and culture and will provide employees more opportunities for personal and professional growth at every stage of their careers.”
The new holding company will aim to provide long-term stability and agility to the participating airlines. It will also focus on achieving synergies to ensure the lowest cost structure, expanding routes and services, and developing innovative new products and services.
Regarding Avianca and GOL’s ties with US carriers (Avianca is part of Star Alliance and has a close partnership with United Airlines, and American Airlines has invested in GOL), there’s no current information on how this holding will impact them.
Roberto Kriete, Abra Group’s Chairman, said: “Our vision is to create an airline group that tackles 21st-century issues and improves air travel for our customers, employees, and partners as well as the communities in which we operate. Our customers will benefit from access to even better fares, more destinations, more frequent flights and seamless connections, and the ability to earn and use points across the brands’ loyalty programs. They will also be able to enjoy enhanced travel benefits and access to superior products and services.”
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.