Varig successor VRG Linhas Aéreas deciding whether to bid for troubled Brazilian flag carrier's place in Star Alliance after being ejected

London
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Brazilian carrier VRG Linhas Aéreas, the new airline that emerged from the remnants of struggling Varig, will decide next month whether to bid to succeed Varig within Star Alliance.

It follows the decision by Star to dismiss long-term member Varig from the airline group next month because the carrier is "unable to fulfil its membership obligations."

VRG Linhas Aéreas president Guilherme Laager has just held a meeting with Star Alliance chief executive Jaan Albrecht in Rio de Janeiro as part of an evaluation to determine the best option for the carrier.

But the airline says: “VRG Linhas Aéreas has not decided yet if it will join Star Alliance, another airline association, or stay independent.”

He adds that the carrier will disclose its decision in January.

VRG was created when Varig (formerly Viação Aérea Rio Grandense) was sold at auction this year to associated freight and logistics specialist VarigLog.

Star Alliance has revoked Varig’s membership because, although Varig has been operating as a Star partner on VRG’s behalf, the Brazilian authorities have granted VRG its own air operator’s certificate – allowing VRG to act as a standalone carrier.

Award of VRG’s certificate effectively makes Varig redundant and removes the airline’s status as a network carrier. This relegation has prompted Star to conclude that Varig no longer meets the alliance’s membership requirements.

Varig joined Star in 1997, the first new carrier to enter the group after its creation by five founding airlines. Its departure will leave Star without a Latin American member following the withdrawal of Mexicana around three years ago.