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TAM and LAN (That’s LATAM to you) Choses to Go with Oneworld

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….)

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  1. Did you forget that AviancaTaca is with Star? That’s what made this a foregone conclusion and also really makes it a negligible impact on Star

  2. I agree Brazil is the only place this makes a real difference, but TACA flies from LIM to three Brazil cities and from SJO to Brasilia, and Avianca flies to GIG and GRU from Bogota. Wouldn’t be surprised if this pushes Avianca Brazil into Star,in which case the Brazil issue is mitigated. TAM long-haul award availability to the US was never great. There’s also the random Turkish flight EZE-GRU, in addition to AC and UA flights. In the end, not sure this will play out to be a “significant loss” to Star, but time will tell.

  3. This Latam choice of Oneworld was a given, because the Chilean anti-trust body that gave its approval for the merger mandated it. Oneworld was specifically cited as the “correct” choice for Latam, to promote competition with regional competitors Copa and Avianca/Taca in Star.
    Avianca Brasil, a division that’s still separate from Avianca for awards sake but is gonna be integrated fully by next year I imagine, has a decent route map throughout Brazil.

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