LATAM confirms Oneworld membership

7 Mar 2013 by BusinessTraveller

The merged carriers of TAM and LAN have confirmed their choice of Oneworld as the alliance for the consolidated group, meaning TAM will leave Star Alliance in early 2014.

The airlines completed their merger under the LATAM group last summer (see online news June 26, 2012), with one of the conditions being the consolidation under one alliance.

The group has confirmed its selection of Oneworld, with TAM joining the BA-founded alliance in early 2014, and LAN subsidiary LAN Colombia also joining Oneworld as an affiliate member later this year.

In a statement the group said that “An exact date for TAM's departure from the Star Alliance will be announced in due course”, adding that “The intention is for it to become part of Oneworld immediately after it exits Star”.

LATAM’s group CEO Enrique Cueto said that the group “evaluated all the possibilities and chose the alliance that offers the best benefits to our passengers, besides the best connectivity and products, as well as the greater synergies for LATAM Airlines Group”.

Meanwhile TAM’s CEO Marco Antonio Bologna said that the carrier was “changing towards a growing alliance, able to offer the best connection options to our passengers”.

LATAM said that it would work with both Star Alliance and Oneworld “to ensure a seamless transition for customers”, adding that “A comprehensive communications programme will be set in place to keep customers fully informed as the alliance switch takes place”.

It’s a further boost to the Oneworld alliance, which has seen Air Berlin and Malaysia Airlines join this year, with Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines also in the process of joining.

US Airways is also set to defect from Star Alliance to Oneworld as part of its planned merger with American Airlines, providing the tie-up gets regulatory approval.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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