U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 7 mins

United CEO plays down any hit to Avianca JV from sister co bankruptcy

(Adds Munoz comments on loan, background)

CHICAGO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said on Wednesday he was "not concerned" the bankruptcy filing of Avianca Brasil would hurt the No. 3 U.S. carrier's joint venture with related airline Colombia's Avianca Holdings.

Avianca Brasil, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after being sued for repossession of its jets, is owned by holding company Synergy Group, which also controls the better-known Avianca Holdings.

As part of a planned joint venture to give it a deeper foothold in Latin America, United extended a $456 million loan to Synergy last month, backed by Avianca common stock that can be executed in the event of a default.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday about the airline's growth plans, Munoz said the loan was "very exacting" in terms of how it had been structured and that Avianca Colombia had no connection to its Brazilian counterpart other than a common shareholder.

Under the loan contract with Synergy, United would receive first dibs on any offer that Synergy might receive on Avianca Holding common shares. The contract also spells out situations in which United would be the controlling shareholder of Avianca, and calls for a board seat if United reaches a 5 percent stake.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)