LAN Colombia stated (04-Sep-2013) it would become a oneworld affiliate member from 01-Oct-2013, as confirmed by the alliance, joining LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru as well as LAN Airlines. oneworld also confirmed TAM Airlines and TAM Airlines Paraguay will join the alliance from 2Q2014, transitioning from Star Alliance, though an exact yet "will be announced in due course". oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby stated, "We very much look forward to welcoming LAN Colombia on board, as the newest oneworld affiliate member of the LAN group and alongside the other LAN airlines that have been such valuable partners for oneworld for many years." [more - original PR]
oneworld confirms LAN Colombia affiliate member from 01-Oct-2013, TAM full member from 2Q2014
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Qatar Airways buys 10% of oneworld's LATAM, to add to its 15% in IAG
Enter Qatar Airways. As Etihad Airways looks to bed down its investments in other airlines, Qatar is gradually expanding its airline investment portfolio. Qatar's 15% stake in IAG is now being followed with a 10% stake in LATAM for USD613 million – nearly 1.5 times Qatar's net profit of USD446 million, disclosed (for the first time) on the day prior to the LATAM equity announcement. It is a safe investment; LATAM group has a strong market position and its share price has remained strong even in the face of a brutal downturn in Latin American economies.
Qatar gives LATAM needed cash and a distant shareholder. Latin America is the smallest market by far for Gulf airlines, but while currently in the economic doldrums, has a longer term potential for growth. It is also a key future market for US airlines, albeit very small on the Gulf airlines' networks. Qatar is spending nearly EUR2.5 billion on equity investments, still smaller than Etihad's but illustrating a willingness to acquire airline assets, for investment and strategic reasons. In this case the immediate strategic purpose for Qatar is less apparent.
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Argentina Aviation Part 1: Avianca, Copa & LATAM promote international traffic at secondary cities
Argentina’s secondary cities are poised to see a spike in international traffic as the new government liberalises Argentina’s aviation market after years of restrictions. The three largest cities outside Buenos Aires – Cordoba, Rosario and Mendoza – should all benefit as restrictions on foreign airlines are lifted.
Panama-based network airline group Copa is launching services from Panama City to Rosario, a market it has sought to access for several years, at the beginning of Jul-2016 and is now looking at also serving Mendoza. Colombia-based airline group Avianca is aiming to launch services from Lima to Cordoba with potential feed in Cordoba from a planned new Argentina-based regional airline.
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