LATAM Intends To Leave The oneworld Alliance

LATAM has announced it intends to leave the oneworld alliance. The news comes as Delta Air Lines announced it would purchase a 20% stake in the South American carrier.

LATAM, oneworld alliance, Delta Air Lines
LATAM has announced its intention to leave the oneworld alliance. Photo: Oliver Holzbauer via Flickr

Earlier today Delta Air Lines announced that it would purchase a 20% share in the South American oneworld carrier LATAM. Simultaneously, fellow oneworld carrier American Airlines stated that it would not be pursuing its partnership with LATAM further. Now the oneworld alliance has released a statement saying that LATAM will be leaving the alliance in due course. The announcement comes as the oneworld alliance celebrated it’s 20th anniversary this year.

A turbulent year for onewold

The past year has certainly had its ups and downs for the oneworld alliance. Late last year the alliance announced that Royal Air Maroc would become its first African airline. Simultaneously, Qatar Airways has been threatening to leave the alliance on and off throughout the past year.

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However, in February, the alliance celebrated a definite high as representatives from all of its member airlines met in London. The purpose of the meeting was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the alliance, with CEOs from most of the airlines attending.

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LATAM, oneworld alliance, Delta Air Lines
In February representatives from oneworld airlines met in London to celebrate the alliance’s 20th anniversary. Photo: onewolrd

LATAM departure

Now that LATAM is partnering with Delta Air Lines, it has announced its intentions to leave the oneworld alliance. This won’t be the first time the airline has been involved in such a move. When LAN and TAM merged to form LATAM, TAM left the Star Alliance so that the group could remain in oneworld.

oneworld issued a statement on the matter saying,

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“LATAM advised oneworld earlier today of their decision to partner with an airline outside of the oneworld alliance. LATAM further advised oneworld that they intend to leave the alliance in due course and in accordance with formal contractual requirements.”

The alliance went on to add that it was disappointed with LATAM’s decision, saying “We are disappointed, but we respect their decision. They have been a valued long-term member of the alliance, and we wish them well.”

LATAM, oneworld alliance, Delta Air Lines
Delta earlier today announced that it would purchase a 20% stake in LATAM. Photo: Delta Air Lines

What does this mean?

This means that LATAM will cease to be a member of oneworld, although a timeline for its withdrawal has not been specified. oneworld states that “while LATAM remains a member of oneworld, the full customer benefits will continue to be delivered.” This means that frequent-flier status will continue to be matched across member airlines. However, once the airline formally exits the alliance, this deal will likely end, along with other agreements.

What do you make of LATAM’s withdrawal from oneworld? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Phil

What a real shame actually! That’s gonna be difficult for oneworld in South America because I don’t see any other carrier joining them. Gol is pretty much joined to Delta at the hip and Azul is getting more closer to United. However maybe they might have a chance with Aerolineas Argentina’s? But that’s doubtful since that airline is suffering from financial challenges.

Arturito

AA (and Qatar) had the time to invest in LATAM and Latinamerica and failed to seize the opportunity. Kudos to Delta for making the bold move. Great news for travelers and market compe

There’s not a single airline with added value for Oneworld in Latinamerica. Their only chance now is to strengthen their presence aggressively with AA, BA, Iberia, Qantas and Qatar (willing to cooperate? Still a oneworld?)

Phil

Delta is selling their stake in Gol so perhaps AA and other Oneworld carriers could use the opportunity to purchase the stake or even make the stake for them bigger in order to regain somewhat of a foothold in the South American market. Maybe a possibility of joining oneworld as a connect member? Also Qantas does have ambitions to fly direct to parts of Brazil.

Arturito

Gol is a local player, it could definitely feed AA to USA and BA/IB to Europe. Good fit but still a partial one, Brazil must represent 40% tops of the Latinamerican market and Azul and Tap are aggressively fighting for long range routes (in addition to IB).

Delta made a great move, leftovers available for late comers.

Xavier Cugat

Aerolineas Argentinas is member od Skyteam alliance.

Phil

American could try and pinch them away though

Mo74

Does it mean that they will join Skyteam?

Richard Johnson

More than likely. You will probably will get some flights out of Miami to South America thru Delta but fly a LATAM plane since Delta just bought 20% of LATAM.

ovtraveller

Well that leaves me up in the air( sorry!) holding paid for tickets with LATAM for return flights from Melbourne to Buenos Aires in Feb 2020. Sweet goodbye to Status Credits and QFFs

Chris

Don’t worry…nothing will have happened by then.

Sam

will Qantas stop the QF27,28 sector? Very cross with Latam. Used to have respect for them… not anymore

Dex

I think it is a terrible decision since many customers have been loyal to LAN Airlines because of its One World partnership. At least half of my 5,8 Million Miles with One World, were flown on LAN, which helped me achieve my lifetime Sapphire Status with One World. I hope that they reconsider, if not One World should perhaps try get the Avianca Group to partner with them in South America.

Mario Molins

I’m no expert, but as a frequent flyer I wonder if customer service details, seat comfort, flight attendant behavior, bean-counter guidelines, etc, may be harming AA, the biggest One World member, in comparison to others inside and outside of One World ????? It’s possible in my mind that LATAM passengers may feel more comfortable with DL/Sky Alliance services…..

Arturito

As longstanding Black status (emerald) in LATAM; thanks Delta! Why?
– Network
– Loyalty program (until now getting a ticket with oneworld thru Latam was Mission Impossible 10)
– Customer Service
– Seat/fleet comfort

Latam was starting to look like AA/BA.

Richard Johnson

As a platinum status with Delta I think this helps me more with this buy I have been flying to South America for the last 10 years with really no good routes and time slots. For me I’ve had to fly to Miami and then fly with AA when going to the smaller cities in South America. Hopefully soon I can fly Delta to South America and get a connecting flight with LATAM and get my points. This will be a good move for both airlines.

Selene Mariannacci

I don’t know where this will take frequent flyers that fly to South America. Lan used to be fantasstic until they joined Tam. Now that it is LaTam the service is awful, flights are change on last minute notice, frequent flyer program is now Multiplus and good luck getting information from them, scheduling lights with them, or even getting points posted to your account. A disaster. I wonder if Delta knows what they are getting into by partnering with LaTam.