02 October, 2013

TAM Alliance Switch.

Brazilian carrier TAM will officially switch to the oneworld frequent-flier alliance on March 31. The move will take the airline out of the Star Alliance, with TAM saying its membership in that group will formally end on March 30.
TAM is part of the LATAM Airlines Group, created out of the 2012 merger between TAM and Chile-based LAN. LAN has been a longtime member of the oneworld group. Chilean regulators required LATAM subsidiaries LAN and TAM to exit one of the alliances as a condition for the merger.
TAM's parent company said in March that oneworld would be the chosen alliance, though the timing for a switch remained uncertain until today's announcement.

oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby lauded the addition of TAM to oneworld, whose membership includes American, British Airways, Qantas and Cathay Pacific, among others.
"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 travelers the world over," Ashby says in a statement. "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 CEO Claudia Sender also gave an enthusiastic endorsement to the switch.
"We want to introduce Brazil to our new partners and welcome them into our country," Sender says. "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."
In its statement, TAM moved to reassure its frequent-flier members that they'll "maintain all points earned and their respective tier status."
Also joining oneworld is be LAN's Colombian unit, LAN Colombia. It officially becomes part of the group today. (Oct. 1).