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.

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.

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,

“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!