Bruce Ashby, CEO oneworld; Tom Horton, President oneworld; Ignacio Cueto, CEO LAN Airlines and Damián Scokin, CEO LATAM International.
LATAM Airlines Group has chosen oneworld to be its global alliance for all its airlines. With this decision – announced on 7 March at a oneworld meeting in Hong Kong – TAM Airlines will now become a member of oneworld, joining LAN Airlines and 11 other member airlines, including British Airways.
TAM will withdraw from the Star Alliance during the second quarter of 2014, on a date to be announced later in 2013. The airline plans to officially join oneworld as soon as it leaves Star Alliance. From that date, TAM passengers will be able to accumulate kilometres/points by flying on any oneworld member airline. Until then, they will continue to receive the benefits offered by the Star Alliance.
“We have evaluated all the existing possibilities and chose the alliance that offers the best benefits to our passengers, in addition to the best connectivity and products, as well as the greatest synergies for the LATAM Airlines Group. We are very happy with our decision,” says Enrique Cueto, CEO, LATAM Airlines Group. “With the incorporation of the LATAM Airlines Group in to oneworld, passengers flying with us will be able to book trips through the oneworld network of destinations and connect from any of the 950 destinations.”
TAM Airlines and TAM S.A. CEO Marco Antonio Bologna adds that the decision to join oneworld “is important news for TAM passengers and we are focused on ensuring a smooth transition to the company, for our partners, and, most importantly, our clients”. According to Bologna, TAM “is joining a growing alliance, that is able to offer the best connection options to our passengers.”
oneworld’s CEO, Bruce Ashby, said: “We are delighted that, after its comprehensive review of alliance options, LATAM 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 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 to ensure a smooth transition to oneworld.”
Currently, oneworld members include airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, as well as 30 affiliates. SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways are in the process of joining the alliance.
During the event in Hong Kong on 7 March, the executives also announced the entry of LAN Colombia in to oneworld as an affiliate member. This will also occur during the fourth quarter of 2013, when it will join other LAN affiliate airlines LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru, reaffirming LAN’s 13-year membership in oneworld.