United Airlines Holdings on friday announced that they are acquiring a 5% stake on Brazilian low cost carrier Azul Airlines for $100 million, on a move to increase their presence on the growing Brazilian aviation.
The move will give United a seat on Azul’s board, the fast growing airline with about 18% of the Brazilian air travel market, serving 105 destinations. Azul carried 21 million passengers last year aboard the company’s 145 aircrafts.
The agreement should also include a code share agreement between the carriers, and most likely inclusion into the Star Alliance at some point.
These news come just two weeks after a group headed by Azul’s founder Davie Neeleman won a bid to acquire failing Portuguese carrier TAP from the government, and promised to invest in new equipment and routes.