United Continental Holdings has reached a long-sought after deal with two major Latin American airlines allowing the third-largest carrier in the U.S. to expand in the region.
Avianca serves around 170 destinations and has more than 180 aircraft, while Copa has a fleet of about 100 aircraft and serves about 75 destinations, according to the companies.
Flying to and from Latin America accounted for about 8 percent of United’s revenue in the third quarter, while American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier in the region, received more than 11 percent of its revenue from Latin America flying in the quarter.
United’s agreement with Avianca comes after a legal battle that could have further delayed the deal was dropped last year.
In a filing on Friday detailing the deal with Avianca, United said it would provide a $456 million loan to Syngery Aerospace Corporation, Avianca’s owner, using stock in Avianca as collateral. The Wall Street Journal, which reported the deal earlier on Friday, said it would be used to repay a loan from hedge fund Elliott Management. Elliott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.