LATAM Airlines Group confirmed (07-Mar-2013) its selection of oneworld as the global alliance for all its passenger airlines. The move will see TAM Airlines and TAM Airlines Paraguay leaving Star Alliance and joining oneworld as full members by 2Q2014, with LAN Colombia joining oneworld as an affiliate member in 4Q2013. The carriers will join LAN Airlines in the alliance, together with oneworld affiliate members LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. An exact date for TAM's departure from Star will be announced "in due course" and TAM will become a oneworld member "immediately after it exits Star". TAM stated, "[oneworld] has a strong presence in Latin America, the US and Europe, three of the most requested destinations by international passengers." TAM Fidelidade FFP customers will retain their status and points in the transition from Star, with a "comprehensive communications programme" to be put in place as the transition unfolds. The addition of TAM and LAN Colombia expands oneworld's coverage in Brazil to 42 destinations and in Colombia to 21 destinations, respectively. Overall, oneworld will offer "over" 950 destinations in 160 countries, carrying 480 million passengers p/a with a combined fleet of 3300 aircraft.
LATAM 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 other synergies for LATAM Airlines Group. We are very happy with the decision." TAM CEO Marco Antonio Bologna added, "This is important news to TAM passengers, and we are focussed on ensuring a smooth transition for the company, our partners, and, most importantly, our clients." oneworld 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." Mr Ashby added, "It's clearly good news...There was some competition, and we made a very, very strong pitch economically". oneworld governing board chairman and American Airlines CEO Tom Horton 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 travellers not just across the Americas, but the world over." [more - original PR - oneworld] [more - original PR - TAM Airlines - Portuguese] [more - original PR - TAM Airlines 2 - Portuguese] [more - original PR - LATAM - Spanish]