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It was with considerable relish that American today announced that two Latin American airlines, both members of the LATAM Airlines Group, will join oneworld, the global alliance co-anchored by American and British Airways.
Brazil’s TAM Airlines will sever its current ties to the Star Alliance and is expected to make the transition to oneworld during the second quarter of 2014. And LAN Colombia will become a oneworld member toward the end of this year.
oneworld is generally held to be among the weaker of the three global airline alliances, and definitely lags the United-led Star Alliance in partnerships and geographic coverage. So the addition of two new carriers, TAM particularly, is a welcome upgrade. That the upgrade comes at the expense of Star’s lineup makes it extra-sweet for American and its oneworld partners.
For consumers, the new additions will mean more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles among the oneworld network of carriers, and better connections between the existing alliance members and the new members.
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