It barely went noticed, but there might be momentum towards the incorporation of Chile’s low-cost carrier Sky Airline into Abra Group, the holding that controls Avianca and Gol.
The information was slipped through in an interview with Gol’s CEO, Celso Ferrer, to Brazil Journal, a Brazilian business news website.
“Abra is the holding that has 100% of the stock of Avianca International, known as Avianca Colombia, and it is Gol’s controller”, said Ferrer, explaining the structure of Abra to the journalist. “Gol is listed here [New York] but Abra has become Gol’s controller. So there is Gol, Avianca, and soon we will have Sky, from Chile”.
In last year’s ALTA Forum in Buenos Aires, Avianca’s CEO Adrián Neuhauser confirmed the interest of the group in taking over Sky Airline, according to Colombia’s La República, but this is the first time an executive of an Abra-controlled company talks about this topic as a certainty.
In 2021 a parent company of Avianca acquired a USD100 million bond from Sky Airline, which would be convertible into shares equivalent to 40% of the Chilean company by 2026.
After the creation of Abra Group in 2022, Sky attempted to distance itself from a potential takeover. In the press release announcing the creation of the holding, Abra confirmed the existence of “convertible debt representing a minority interest investment in Chile’s Sky Airline”.
Sky Airline is Chile’s second-largest airline by number of seats offered; it also has a subsidiary in Peru. It currently operates a fleet of 25 Airbus A320neo and three A321neo, according to Planespotters.net.
Such a transaction would give Abra a relevant foothold in Chile, which it currently only serves from Colombia, as well as one in Peru — whose capital had an Avianca hub until 2020; the operation was already being cut before, but entirely shut down during the company’s pandemic restructuring.