LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador to join oneworld31 October 2006
oneworld® is to strengthen its position as the leading airline alliance serving Latin America with the addition of two more carriers in the region - LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
The two newest carriers in the LAN alliance, the region's leading airline, will become affiliate members of oneworld as soon as the necessary joining technicalities can be completed. All parties have committed to ensure that this takes place as early as possible in 2007.
Both airlines will then offer oneworld's full range of services and benefits. This means their frequent flyers will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers with top-tier members able to gain access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance's airlines. Members of other oneworld airlines will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on both LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador. The two airlines' networks will also be covered by oneworld's extensive range of alliance fares.
With Chile-based LAN Airlines a full member of the alliance since June 2000, along with its domestic subsidiary LAN Express and Peruvian sister LAN Peru as affiliate members, the latest additions will mean oneworld will have five Latin American airlines in its grouping.
With oneworld partners American Airlines and Iberia also serving Latin American extensively internationally, and British Airways flying to the region as well, it makes oneworld the obvious alliance of choice for traveling to, from or within this region.
Their addition also builds further on oneworld's position as the leading Spanish-speaking alliance.
Their recruitment accelerates what was already oneworld's the biggest expansion programme in its history, with recruits Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian preparing to join early next year, taking the alliance's network to almost 700 destinations in approaching 150 countries.
Besides LAN Airlines, American, Iberia and British Airways, oneworld's other existing members include Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Finnair and a dozen affiliates. A further five affiliates will join with Japan Airlines.
The two new affiliates will considerably broaden the alliance's network within Latin America, through the addition of a domestic schedule within Argentina and regional international services to and from Argentina and Ecuador, besides expanding its links between the region and North America and Europe. LAN Argentina will also add four destinations to the oneworld map - Iguazú (IGR), Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD), Río Gallegos (RGL), El Calafate (FTE).
The two carriers received the green light to join oneworld at a meeting of the alliance's Governing Board late last week. With the other members of the LAN alliance already part of oneworld, bringing the two new carriers on board the alliance will be a great deal more simple and speedy than implementing completely new recruits to the grouping. Precise dates for their joining will be announced in due course.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "I'm delighted to welcome LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador on board oneworld. Both offer a level of service to match the best in the world, in keeping with oneworld's overall emphasis on quality. With our extensive presence in Latin America already, their addition strengthens oneworld's position as the leading alliance serving this region.
LAN Airlines Chief Executive Enrique Cueto said: "It is with great pride that I announce today the addition of LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador to oneworld. The high quality and safety standards of the service they provide to passengers has earned them membership in this prestigious alliance formed by the world's top airlines. Without any doubt this constitutes a clear recognition of our on-going commitment to our customers and our determination to deliver an excellent quality product that meets the highest standards of international safety."
About LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador
LAN Argentina launched passenger and cargo services in June 2005. Today it operates from Buenos Aires to Córdoba, Mendoza, Iguazú, Bariloche, Comodoro Rivadavia and Río Gallegos. Additionally, from 7 November it will launch flights to El Calafate and Ushuaia. It also operates daily from Buenos Aires to Miami. Today it operates a fleet of three Airbus A320s, four Boeing 737-200s and two Boeing 767-300s.
LAN Ecuador launched passenger and cargo services in April 2003. Today it operates from hubs at Quito and Guayaquil to Buenos Aires, Madrid, Miami, New York and Santiago, with Airbus A320s and Boeing 767-300s.
The LAN alliance - including LAN Airlines, LAN Express, LAN Peru, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador - offers "a united spirit of reliability and charm that provides passengers with the highest level of service and safety with the complete travel experience throughout the skies of the Americas".
Through its own operations, the LAN alliance serves 56 destinations worldwide - 15 in Chile, 11 in Peru, nine in Argentina, two in Ecuador, ten in other Latin American and Caribbean countries, three in the USA (Los Angeles, Miami and New York), two in Europe (Frankfurt and Madrid) and four in the South Pacific. Within Latin America, the LAN alliance serves 12 countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Currently, the LAN alliance operates 75 passenger aircraft and nine dedicated freighters, carrying some 8 million passengers in 2005.
It is regularly named best airline in Latin America in the various industry award schemes.
LAN recorded profits of US$146.6 million net in 2005 on total revenues of US$2.5 billion.
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. Together, its existing members serve more than 600 destinations in some 135 countries.
oneworld is the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets.
oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the 2006 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000-travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.
It is also the only alliance whose members reported collective profits in their latest full year.