AviancaTaca postpones use of single code until August

Washington DC
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Latin American airline group AviancaTaca has requested authorities to allow it to use Taca's airline code until the end of August, as the carrier deals with technical issues related to the roll-out of a common airline code across its subsidiaries.

Avianca and Taca finalised their merger in 2010, bringing several carriers in various Latin American countries under one company. The airline group has said that it aims to operate all flights under a common airline code, AV, in the second quarter.

However, AviancaTaca says that it now requires more time, due to the technological issues related to the implementation of a common airline code. The carrier had signed an IT deal with Amadeus to launch a common customer management system across its airlines.

AviancaTaca had received approval from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in December 2012 for all of its airlines to operate under the AV code. That approval was given with the condition that Taca carriers could utilise the TA code until 31 March.

"The carriers [Avianca and Taca] are working closely with Amadeus to implement the changes necessary to permit full implementation of the authority granted by the Department, but some technical issues remain outside of the control of Avianca and the Taca group," the airline's lawyers say in a letter to the DOT posted on 27 March.

The airline group expects that the technological issues will be resolved before 31 August, it adds. This will allow for "a period of time for testing and validation to proceed before full implementation and cessation of the use of the Taca name and 'TA' designator code", it says.

An AviancaTaca spokesperson tells Flightglobal that the airline had initially planned to roll out the use of a common airline code in June before this was extended to August.

The carrier has already started using the AV code on some Taca flights as part of tests, she adds.