The news that Brazilian airline TAM is leaving Star Alliance isn’t particularly surprising. The Chilean courts mandated the move and have given the airline two years from the close of its merger with LAN to be out. That merger closed last week, at the same time as Avianca/Taca and Copa joined Star Alliance, so the clock is ticking.
Interestingly, however, it is still not clear where TAM is headed. From an article in a Brazilian paper:
According to Mauricio Amaro, Chairman of the Board of Latam, the holding company combining LAN and TAM that was officially established yesterday, in the coming months the group will decide whether TAM will join the LAN’s alliance, Oneworld, or "will be independent."
While the LAN/TAM merger is building a unified loyalty program (launching this coming week!) and integrating sales and schedule arrangements, apparently they aren’t quite ready to commit to fully unifying the two brands into a single operation. And that includes keeping options open for the TAM side.
Once TAM announces its exit from Star Alliance there will be a six-month wrap-up period. A small consolation and certainly better than situations like bmi‘s departure following their acquisition by IAG.
- Star Alliance seizes Central America
- Copa inches closer to Star Alliance membership
- Date set for Copa and Avianca-Taca to join Star Alliance
- Code-sharing coming to Central American competitors
- Copa likely to join Star Alliance
- The new LATAM headed to OneWorld
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