TAM Airlines, a company related to LATAM Airlines Group, will join oneworld® with effect from 31 March 2014, adding the leading carrier in Brazil – Latin America's biggest economy and largest market for air travel demand – to the world's leading quality global airline alliance.
Confirmation today of its oneworld joining date comes on the same day that LAN Colombia – which is, like TAM, a company related to LATAM Airlines Group - becomes part of oneworld, offering the alliance's full range of services and benefits, from the start of operations this morning.
The addition of TAM from 31 March 2014 and LAN Colombia today will mean all passenger airlines in LATAM Airlines Group, Latin America's leading airline group, will be part of oneworld, the world's leading quality airline alliance. LAN Airlines has been a full member of oneworld since 2000. All its other passenger airline affiliates have subsequently joined the alliance as affiliate members – LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Peru and, from today, LAN Colombia - and now TAM from 31 March and with its Paraguayan affiliate to follow on a date yet to be confirmed.
This consolidates oneworld's position as the leading alliance for flights within Latin America and between the region and both the United States and Europe - the two most popular destinations for South American international travellers.
TAM's entry into oneworld with effect from the first flights on 31 March 2014 will follow immediately upon its exit from the Star Alliance with effect from the final flights on 30 March 2014.
The airline and oneworld are taking every effort to ensure that the alliance transition is as seamless as possible for customers.
TAM underlined today that all members of its Fidelidade frequent flyer programme will maintain all points earned and their respective tier status, according to the applicable conditions of the programme. A thorough communications plan is being developed to brief them in detail on all the benefits and privileges they will receive as part of oneworld from 31 March – including the ability to earn and redeem points on any of the alliance's member airlines.
These include leading brands from each global region. Besides LAN, they feature American Airlines from North America; airberlin, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Russia's S7 Airlines from Europe; Royal Jordanian, from the Middle East; Asia-Pacific's Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas; and some 30 affiliated airlines with other recruits also lining up to join in the months ahead.
The 140 million members of these established oneworld airlines' frequent flyer programmes will also be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld privileges on TAM Airlines from 31 March – and on LAN Colombia from today.
As it becomes part of the group on 31 March 2014, TAM's network will be covered by oneworld's range of alliance fares – the most extensive offered by any of the global alliances, including the market-leading oneworld Explorer round-the-world fare and its Visit South America pass.
TAM serves 60 destinations in 16 countries in Latin America, the USA and Europe, with a fleet of 161 aircraft operating 800 departures daily. It boarded 38 million passengers in 2012.
Since its launch in December 2011, LAN Colombia has quickly established itself as the second biggest airline in South America's second largest economy. In total, it serves 24 airports in four countries with a fleet of 24 aircraft operating 130 departures a day. It boarded 3.7 million passengers in 2012.
Four of oneworld's established members – American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and LAN – currently serve a total of seven destinations in Brazil. TAM will expand the alliance's coverage of Brazil, one of the world's most rapidly developing economies, to 42 destinations.
Across South America, oneworld's established member airlines already serve 71 destinations in 11 countries. TAM and LAN Colombia add another 56 airports in the region to that network, giving oneworld one of the most extensive alliance networks serving the continent.
Worldwide, with TAM, LAN Colombia and the other airlines lining up to join, oneworld will:
- Serve almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.
- Carry 480 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of more than 3,200 aircraft.
- Generate US$ 140 billion annual revenues.
The addition of TAM from 31 March and LAN Colombia today represents a cornerstone of oneworld's biggest membership expansion yet. Other elements elsewhere in the world include:
- The addition of Malaysia Airlines, one of this industry's most frequent award winners, eight months ago, further strengthening oneworld's position in South East Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
- The induction on 30 October 2013 of Qatar Airways, the only one of the "Gulf Big Three" carriers slated to join any of the global airline alliances and one of the world's fastest growing and most highly rated airlines. This will make oneworld the leading alliance in the Middle East, one of the world's fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
- The introduction early next year of SriLankan Airlines, as the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join any global alliance, which, with Qatar Airways, will make oneworld the leading alliance in the region.
In addition, US Airways proposes to switch from Star to oneworld as part of its planned merger with American Airlines, subject to necessary approvals.
oneworld's CEO Bruce Ashby said: "As the leading airline in Latin America's biggest economy, Brazil, TAM's addition represents a significant landmark in oneworld's journey to establish itself as the first choice airline alliance for frequent international travellers the world over. We look forward to welcoming TAM and its customers on board the world's premier global airline alliance with effect from 31 March next year."
TAM Airlines' CEO Claudia Sender added: "We want to introduce Brazil to our new partners and welcome them into our country. In the coming months, we will continue working to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. We also want our passengers to learn about the benefits, connections and products offered by oneworld so they can travel the world with us."
About LATAM Airlines Group SA
LATAM Airlines Group SA is the new name given to LAN Airlines SA as a result of its association with TAM SA. LATAM Airlines Group SA now includes LAN Airlines and its affiliates in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and LAN Cargo and its affiliates, as well as TAM SA and its subsidiaries TAM Linhas Aereas SA, including its business units TAM Transportes Aereos del Mercosur SA, (TAM Airlines (Paraguay)) and Multiplus SA. This association creates one of the largest airline groups in the world in terms of network connections, providing passenger transport services to about 135 destinations in 22 countries and cargo services to about 144 destinations in 27 countries, with a fleet of 323 aircraft. In total, LATAM Airlines Group SA has more than 54,000 employees and its shares are traded in Santiago, as well as on the New York Stock Exchange, in the form of ADRs, and Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, in the form of BDRs. Each airline will continue to operate under their current brands and identities.
oneworld is an alliance of the world's leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers. oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to some 550 airport lounges. The most regular travellers (Emerald) can also use fast track security lanes at select airports and extra baggage allowances.
oneworld is currently the holder of five leading international awards for airline alliances – more than any other airline alliance. It was named World's Best Airline Alliance in the 2013 World Airline Awards by the independent Skytrax airline quality ratings agency, the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2012 Awards for the third year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2012 World Travel Awards for the 10th year running, Australian Business Traveller Best Airline Alliance in 2012 for the second year running, and FlightStats Airline Alliance On-Time Performance 2012 winner, believed to have been the first time a punctuality award has been presented to any airline alliance