Transportes Aereos del Continente Americano, simply known as TACA Airlines operating as Avianca is the flag carrier of El Salvador and was a trade name brand comprising a group of five independently Central Amrican airlines. In 2009, it was announced that Avianca would merge with TACA Airlines but both airlines have stated that each will maintain their own identity and operate separately for the moment.
TACA was founded in 1931. The idea of its founder was to establish one airline in each Latin-American country. Out of all the TACA franchise airlines created, only TACA International of El Salvador survived. In 1992, TACA signed a strategic alliance with Panama-based Copa Airlines, and the airline began flying to Tocumen International Airport, making it the first flight connection center in Latin America. As a consequence, Tocumen airport became the “Hub of the Americas” and the integration of several Latin American airlines to the alliance, such as Lacsa, Aviateca and NICA. The alliance ended in 1998 after the six-year period established in the agreement expired. In 2012, TACA Airlines, Avianca and Copa Airlines were the first Latin American airlines to enter to the Star Alliance. In 2012, it was reported that the trade name TACA Airlines was going to disappear and the promotion and marketing strategies were going to be owned by Avianca.