Avianca Group has agreed with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (G3, Sao Paulo Congonhas) to merge under a newly created holding company - Abra Group - although both entities will retain their individual branding and operational independence.

GOL's controlling shareholder, MOBI Fundo de Investimento em Ações Investimento no Exterior (MOBI FIA), and Avianca Group's major shareholders, which include Kingsland International Group, Elliott International, and South Lake One, will contribute their shares in the respective firms in exchange for a stake in the new holding, which will be incorporated in England. Upon completion of the transaction, the investors will jointly control Abra Group, which, in turn, will be both Avianca and GOL's controlling shareholder.

Abra Group will be headed by Roberto Kriete (the current chairman of Avianca, who will become the chairman), Constantino de Oliveira Junior (the current chairman of GOL, who will become CEO), and Adrian Neuhauser (the current CEO of Avianca) and Richard Lark (the current executive vice-president and CFO of GOL), who will become co-presidents. The managers will retain their current posts at the two merging carriers.

The closing of the deal is expected to take place in the second half of 2022, subject to customary closing and regulatory conditions. GOL and Avianca said that undisclosed investors pledged to invest an additional USD350 million into Abra Group.

The deal is the second major merger Avianca has announced over the past few days, following its partnership with Grupo Viva. The ULCC will also remain operationally separate and will retain its brand. The holding also holds convertible debt representing a minority interest investment in Chile's SKY Airline (Chile) (H2, Santiago de Chile Int'l), although there is no operational cooperation between the airlines.

The ch-aviation capacities module shows that Avianca Group has a negligible presence in Brazil with just a 0.2% market share by scheduled weekly departure capacity. GOL has a 28.3% market share in the country, where it trails Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras and LATAM Airlines Brasil. In turn, in Colombia, the home market of Avianca Airlines, Avianca Group has a 43.9% market share (61.2% including Viva (Colombia)), while GOL does not serve the country.