LAN & TAM merger: what it means for Qantas/oneworld passengers

By John Walton, June 27 2012
LAN & TAM merger: what it means for Qantas/oneworld passengers

With the merger of two of South America's largest airlines -- Chile-based LAN and Brazil's TAM -- to create the LATAM group, what's the impact on Qantas travellers and especially Qantas Frequent Flyers?

The big win will be LATAM's expected alignment with the oneworld airline alliance, of which Qantas is of course a key member.

TAM will abandon its current affiliation with Star Alliance, according to Brazil's Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.

"We are carefully evaluating this issue and hope to make a decision within the next months and within the deadline set by the authorities, which expires at the end of 2014," LATAM said in a statement.

LAN flies from Australia to Santiago via Auckland. Qantas is LAN's oneworld alliance partner, with flights between Sydney and Santiago and connections onward from there.

If TAM also joins oneworld, that makes much of South America ripe for earning Qantas points.

As the merger rolls on, make sure you check your LAN flight's operating airline -- if it's a LAN booking with an LA number but on a TAM plane, you may not earn the Qantas points you expected.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Jun 2012

Total posts 18

It would be very important for oneworld to recruit TAM. South America market is growing and oneworld has a golden opportunity to increase its presence. I hope TAM will decide to join the alliance as well as I hope one of the big gulf airlines will choose oneworld, according to Willie Walsh's opinion.

10 Jun 2011

Total posts 56

Its all about the South American market in the aviation world especially Brazil being a powerhouse economy with a very large population that has an increasingly disposable income

This is a very strong merger between TAM and LAN, and if it joins One World a boost that alliance needs making them very strong in South America

I would be interested to see if a Middle Eastern carrier joins an alliance in the short to mid term.  Qatar has a lot of commerical agreements with LH and UA in particular, and could see them joining the Star Alliance but Im sure they are being lured by One World and SkyTeam as well

EK always say they dont want to be in an alliance, and more to the point do they really need to?  It doesnt mean it wont happen.  That leaves Etihad who are codesharing with anyone they can at the moment.  

The remaing Gulf carriers would not such as KU GF and SV would not add a lot to an alliance

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