When arch-rivals agree to start cooperating in the airline industry that’s a pretty good indication that strange things are afoot. The announcements by Copa Airlines and Avianca-Taca, the aviation leaders in Central and Northern South America and strong competitors in those markets, that both would be joining Star Alliance was one of those moments. The strange continues as the two have announced their plans to begin codesharing on each others flights in the region and beyond.
Taca has an existing codeshare relationship with United Airlines while Copa has an existing relationship with Continental Airlines. The Copa/Continental relationship extends to the operation of the Panamanian carrier’s frequent flyer program as well. Given these relationships it makes sense to see the combined Continental/United operation working to get their partnerships aligned as their merger integration efforts proceed. It is even better to see that the alignment is opening up more opportunities for customers rather than reducing them.
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