Two months after acquiring 75% of Colombia's Avianca in a successful US Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring process, Brazilian entrepreneur German Efromovich has launched Synergy Aerospace, an ambitious project to dominate the skies of Latin America.

Synergy Aerospace will be an umbrella organisation for Efromovich's airlines, namely Brazil's Ocean Air, Colombia's Avianca, Ecuador's VIP SA and recently announced Wayra Peru, providing the synergies of joint purchasing, asset management and route co-ordination. A first result is the possible joint acquisition of up to 30 ex-American Airlines Fokker 100s. Efromovich is also bringing in an aircraft maintenance facility and an air taxi operator.

The creation of Synergy Aerospace, initially based at Avianca's Bogota headquarters, is a clear sign that Efromovich intends to make an impact in an industry in which he previously only had a small stake through Ocean Air.

He won extra credibility by convincing two management heavyweights to join the project: Fabio Villegas, a financial expert and ex-Colombian government minister, will be president of a reborn Avianca; and his predecessor, Juan Emilio Posada, who steered Avianca through Chapter 11 and into its first profits in years, will head Synergy Aerospace. A source close to Efromovich says the entrepreneur has modelled his plans on Chile's LAN and its "geographical domino strategy to dominate the Latin American air transport market".

But it remains to be seen if Avianca's pilots, who tried to prevent Efromovich's takeover until the last minute, will share his enthusiasm to create a pan-American carrier.

Source: Flight International