Oneworld grabs LATAM

When Lan of Chile and TAM of Brazil decided to merge and form the LATAM group of airlines, they were told to pick one alliance to be a member of by regulators.  Those reading tea leaves gave the nod to Oneworld and mostly because Lan is really the “leader” of that merger.

I thought so too but I couldn’t prevent that nagging feeling that the Star Alliance might choose to pull a rabbit out of the hat with incentives.  These days, you never know.  Think back to when JAL was considering defection from Oneworld.  Delta Airlines made an offer that seemed almost certain to pull off the unthinkable and bring that airline into Skyteam.

But American Airlines and Gerard Arpey and Oneworld sweetened their deal with JAL and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

I’m fairly sure that American Airlines went to work with LATAM too.  It’s an essential component to the current success that AA enjoys in South America.  With this decision completed, it’s time for someone to get busy on finding a better China partner and it wouldn’t hurt to figure out how to bring QANTAS back into alignment with the interests of Oneworld either.

Maybe Tom Horton can work that for Doug Parker over the next year.


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