Star Alliance has announced that Brazilian airline Avianca Brasil will leave the alliance from 1 September after the carrier ceased operations.

Officially known as Ocean Air Linhas S/A but operating as Avianca Brasil, the airline announced last year that it would file for bankruptcy but would continue flying. In April it cancelled more than 1,000 flights after having to return 18 aircraft to leasing companies. Soon after, Brazil’s civil aviation regulator forced the carrier to suspend all flights until it could “prove it has the capacity to maintain operations safely”.

According to Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh, “the exit of Avianca Brasil in no way affects the membership of Avianca SA”, which is based in Bogota, Colombia, which will continue to contribute to the alliance in South America.

Avianca Brasil’s exit leaves Star Alliance with 27 member airlines, and the alliance says 11 of those offer services to and from Brazil – Air Canada, Avianca, Air China, Copa Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, South African Airways, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines and United.

Goh commented: “Initially joining Star Alliance in 2015, Avianca Brasil made important contributions to our customer proposition in the Brazilian market and we regret this unfortunate development.”

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