Two carriers in the LATAM Airlines Group, South America’s largest airline group, made oneworld news on October 1.
LAN Colombia officially joined the oneworld airline alliance on October 1 and immediately began offering the alliance’s full range of services and benefits.
On October 1, also, LATAM Airlines Group carrier TAM Airlines announced it would join oneworld as of March 31, 2014.
TAM Airlines’ entry into the alliance means the largest carrier in Brazil becoming a oneworld member. Brazil has the largest air traffic market and largest economy in South America.
Chile-based LAN Airlines has been a member of oneworld since 2000. All LAN Airlines affiliate passenger airlines ‒ including LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru ‒ have subsequently joined oneworld as affiliate members.
TAM Airlines’ Paraguayan affiliate, TAM Airlines (Paraguay), will also become part of oneworld at a later date.
Bogota-based LAN Colombia was welcomed into oneworld at a ceremony on October 1 at the airline’s headquarters.
“LAN Colombia is very proud to have joined oneworld. For our company, it represents a significant milestone,” said Nicolás Cortázar, LAN Colombia’s chairman. “For our country, it significantly improves our access to the rest of the world, helping attract more business visitors and tourists, enabling Colombians to reach more of the world’s most important business centers worldwide and making it easier to travel the world from any of the destinations we serve throughout Colombia.”
“To join oneworld is not only a great benefit to our passengers, it is also a demonstration of the high standards that LAN Colombia has achieved since our establishment in the country in 2010. Membership of oneworld underlines our airline’s commitment to service quality and safety”, said Hernán Pasman, LAN Colombia’s executive director.
Meanwhile, from Brazil, TAM Airlines’ CEO Claudia Sender said: “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.”
From October 1, LAN Colombia LANPASS frequent-flyer program members now have privileges whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline – including the ability to earn and redeem awards and earn tier status points when flying on any oneworld airline partner.
Among these are the largest carrier for travel between South and North America, American Airlines; and the largest airline between Latin America and Europe, Iberia.
Oneworld’s other established members include Europe’s Airberlin, British Airways, Finnair and S7 Airlines; the Asia-Pacific region’s Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas; the Middle East’s Royal Jordanian Airlines; and another 30 affiliated airlines.
Five other airlines are lining up to join in the coming months, among them Qatar Airways, one of the three largest airlines in the Persian Gulf region.
LANPASS Comodoro and Comodoro Black cardholders now have Emerald status in the oneworld frequent flyer program. LANPASS Premium Silver status is equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and LANPASS Premium status is equivalent to oneworld Ruby.
This entitles LANPASS tier-status members to special privileges when traveling on any oneworld partner, including access to Business Class check-in and, when offered, pre-reserved and preferred seating, as well as priority on waitlists and on standby when flights are full.
Oneworld Sapphire cardholders (LANPASS Premium Silver) also have access to oneworld’s network of hundreds of Business Class lounges on departure and priority boarding.
In addition, oneworld Emerald cardholders (LANPASS Comodoro and Comodoro Black) have access to First Class check-in and lounges and to fast track lanes through security checkpoints at selected airports, plus an additional baggage allowance.
From October 1, the 140 million members of the other oneworld airlines’ frequent-flyer programs can now earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits when flying on LAN Colombia.
LAN Colombia’s network is now covered by oneworld’s full range of alliance fares and sales products, including its oneworld Explorer round-the-world fare and its Visit South America pass. TAM Airlines’ network is to be covered from March 31.
Through its oneworld partnerships with American Airlines, Iberia and British Airways, LAN Colombia is able to offer its customers the most popular gateways for travelers from Latin America, at their Miami, New York JFK, Madrid and London Heathrow hubs.
Three of oneworld’s members – American Airlines, Iberia and LAN Airlines – were already serving three destinations in Colombia: Bogota, Cali and Medellin. LAN Colombia expands the alliance’s Colombia destination list to a total of 21 gateway cities throughout the country.
Across South America, oneworld’s established member airlines already serve 71 destinations in 11 countries. LAN Colombia and TAM Airlines will add another 56 South American airports to that network – LAN Colombia bringing 21 more airports on board and TAM 35.
Worldwide, with the inclusion of LAN Colombia, TAM Airlines and the other five airlines lining up to join, oneworld will:
● Serve almost 1,000 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; and
● Generate $140 billion in annual revenues.