LATAM Airlines Group today confirmed its selection of oneworld® as the global alliance for all its passenger airlines.
The decision, announced at a meeting of the oneworld Governing Board held in Hong Kong today, means:
- Brazil's TAM Airlines will leave the Star Alliance to join oneworld, along with its Paraguay subsidiary. Their transition is expected to be completed during 2014's second quarter.
- LAN Colombia, the latest part of LAN, will join oneworld as an affiliate member, in the fourth quarter of 2013.
With Chile's LAN Airlines flying as a full member of oneworld since June 2000 and LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru added since as affiliate members, today's announcement will bring all of Latin America's top airline group into the same global airline alliance, alongside 11 of the other leading carriers from around the world and 30 of their affiliates.
An exact date for TAM's departure from the Star Alliance will be announced in due course. The intention is for it to become part of oneworld immediately after it exits Star.
oneworld Governing Board Chairman Tom Horton, Chairman and Chief Executive of American Airlines, said: "Membership of Latin America's leading airline group, LATAM Airlines Group, in oneworld represents a major landmark in our journey towards establishing oneworld firmly as the first choice airline alliance for travelers not just across the Americas, but the world over. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Enrique and Ignacio Cueto, Damian Scokin, Marco Antonio Bologna and their team as we welcome our new friends at TAM and their customers on board the world's premier global airline alliance."
oneworld's CEO Bruce Ashby stated: "We are delighted that, after its comprehensive review of alliance options, LATAM Airlines Group not only decided to have LAN remain on board oneworld, but also to include TAM and all the other passenger airline subsidiaries in the LATAM Airlines Group as well. This solidifies oneworld's long-standing position as the alliance leader in Latin America and provides an even more attractive proposition for frequent international travellers the world over. We look forward to working with LATAM Airlines Group to ensure a smooth transition to oneworld."
LATAM Airlines Group CEO Enrique Cueto said: "We 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. We are very happy with the decision. With this change, passengers flying with us will be able to book trips through the oneworld network of destinations and, for instance, connect from any of 950 destinations, including distant and exotic ones such as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow or Melbourne, through oneworld member airlines."TAM Airlines and TAM SA CEO Marco Antonio Bologna added: "This is important news to TAM passengers, and we are focused on ensuring a smooth transition for the company, our partners, and, most important, our clients." He noted that TAM "is changing towards a growing alliance, able to offer the best connection options to our passengers".