Avianca Brazil (Portuguese: Avianca Brasil), officially Oceanair Linhas Aéreas S/A, is a Brazilian airline based in São Paulo, Brazil. It operates passenger services from 25 destinations. Its main bases are Brasília and São Paulo-Guarulhos airports.
The airline was established in 1998 as an air taxi company to operate services for oil companies in the Campos Basin. Its name was then OceanAir and began to operate scheduled services in 2002, between São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Macaé and Campos. Soon afterwards, it started to become better known to the public with a flight (no longer operated now) connecting Congonhas Airport in São Paulo and Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro via São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, enabling international passengers from both cities easy access to the country's largest international hub from those cities' smaller but central and more convenient airports. At the time, OceanAir's fare between São Paulo's airports was cheaper than a taxi and on a par with a luxury bus ride.
In 2004, Synergy Group, the owner of OceanAir, bought Avianca, and as a result OceanAir has become a feeder for Avianca's flights into Guarulhos. This partnership between the two airlines has increased the flow of passengers between Colombia and Brazil. In 2004, Synergy Group also bought VIP Ecuador as part of a strategy to create a continent-wide airline under the Avianca brand. In 2006, a joint venture formed by OceanAir (49%) and Fondo de Inversiones Sustentables (51%) created a new Peruvian airline called Wayraperú, but the airline suspended operations a few months later. These airlines make up Synergy Group's aviation interests, and coordination of schedules to feed Avianca's network has been implemented. They will soon all be members of the AviancaPlus Frequent Flyer programme. Synergy Group had a profit of US$3 billion in 2005 and investments of US$100 million in the last months.
OceanAir started its first international operation to Mexico in 2007, with Boeing 767–300 aircraft, but in April 2008 the flights were discontinued. Since then the airline has concentrated its efforts on the Brazilian domestic market. Five Airbus A330 and 30 Airbus A320 aircraft were ordered in 2010, a contract worth US$2.5 billion. With this fleet growth, Efromovich intends to control 15% of the Brazilian air market in the next decade, including routes to Mexico, Colombia, Africa and the United States.
Deal with TACA and rebranding to Avianca Brazil
On 26 March 2010 Germán Efromovich announced that OceanAir would re-brand as Avianca Brazil. OceanAir Linhas Aéreas remains the legal name of the airline. This way, Synergy group can further align the operations of OceanAir and Avianca. The first aircraft with the new name started operations on 27 April 2010. The only notable differences between the aircraft of Avianca Colombia and those of Avianca Brazil are the latter's Brazilian registrations and a small Brazilian flag under their cockpit windows.
On 10 November 2010 Star Alliance decided to accept the group Avianca Holding to join the network as a member airline. Avianca Brasil was not included in this. The Brazilian branch was accepted in a later decision, of 13 December 2013. Avianca Brasil is scheduled to join the alliance in June 2015.