Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines Join Star Alliance

ColombiaAvianca-TACA and Copa Airlines have joined Star Alliance, opening up travel between Central/South America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as member benefits including collecting and redeeming miles on all member carriers. Star Alliance will have access to 46 new destinations in South American, including Copa Airlines hubs in Panama City (Panama) and Bogota (Colombia, as well as the Avianca-TACA hubs in Bogota, San Salvador (El Salvador), Lima (Peru) and San Jose (Costa Rica).

The addition of Avianca-TACA and Copa Airlines conclude Star Alliance's expansion into Latin America, beginning with the addition of Continental Airlines just over a year ago and the joining of TAM Airlines in May. In October 2009, Avianca and TACA agreed to a strategic merger, Avianca-TACA. Each consolidates several smaller Latin American carriers; combined, the group currently has more than three million members in its loyalty program. Following its departure from Skyteam in October 2009, Copa follows up on its 12-year alliance with United-Continental.

Currently, Star Alliance has 27 member airlines including Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines and Austrian, as well as Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines and Continental Airlines. Other members include Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines and Lufthansa, in addition to Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways. Star Alliance's network also includes Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines and TAP Portugal, alongside Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways.

Joining them soon will be India Air and Ethiopian Air. Following integration of the four new members, passengers will have access to more than 22,500 daily flights serving 1,292 destinations in 188 countries.

Visit www.taca.com or www.avianca.com and www.staralliance.com.

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