United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) parent United Continental Holdings Inc and Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) are among several bidders to have expressed an interest in Colombia's Avianca Holdings The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The paper states the Colombian operator is looking to raise USD500 million in fresh capital and has distributed a prospectus to several potential buyers of which two are United and Delta. Given the scale of the investment, any capital injection could evolve into a full sale, the report said.

Local Colombian press reports indicate that other interested parties reportedly include China's HNA Group, Lufthansa Group, Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New), and Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l). As South America's second largest carrier group, Avianca Holdings is looking to counter rival LATAM Group's planned joint-venture agreement with American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) announced earlier in the year.

Colombian laws currently allow for majority foreign ownership of local carriers.

A member of Star Alliance, Avianca Holdings has interests and partnerships all over Latin America including: Avianca (AV, Bogotá); Avianca Brasil (O6, Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont); Avianca Cargo (QT, Medellín José Maria Córdova); AeroGal (2K, Quito Int'l); Macair Jet (A0, Buenos Aires Aeroparque); TACA International Airlines (TA, San Salvador Int'l); Aviateca Guatemala (GU, Guatemala City); Isleña Airlines (ISV, La Ceiba), La Costeña (NIS, Managua), Trans American Airlines (T0, Lima Int'l) and TAMPA Cargo (QT, Medellín José Maria Córdova).