When TAM and LAN announced their merger (into what is now called LATAM) there was lots of speculation about whether the combined carrier would join LAN’s alliance (Oneworld) or TAM’s alliance (Star). They announced today that the combined airline will join Oneworld.
Though the move was announced today, TAM will join Oneworld in the second quarter of 2014 — so those of you with United miles have a year to fly down to Brazil on TAM using miles. LAN Colombia will also join Oneworld as an affiliate member in late 2013.
This a great news for Oneworld, which had significant South American presence already with American Airlines and the LAN family of airlines. TAM will flesh out the route map with extensive service in Brazil.
This is a pretty significant loss for Star, which has a bit of presence in South America through Copa, but doesn’t really hold a candle to what Oneworld now offers in the region.
(As a commenter noted, I did forget about AviancaTaca, which obviously has a large presence, especially out of Peru. But it still leaves a big empty space in Brazil….)