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TAM poised to join Oneworld


TAM poised to join Oneworld
<p> TAM is set to leave Star Alliance and join its merger partner LAN in Oneworld in a move that will have ramifications for Air New Zealand in its quest to serve the growing South America market.</p> <p> Although the newly created LATAM Airline Group is officially reviewing its alliance strategy, it is almost certain Star will lose the Brazilian carrier.</p> <p> Regulators in Brazil and Chile stipulated that as a condition of the merger LAN and TAM should not be in separate alliances and, more pertinently, should not sit in the same alliance as Colombian flag carrier Avianca and TACA. Both airlines became formal members of Star Alliance last week.</p> <p> It would appear to leave the group little choice but to wed itself to Oneworld, of which LAN has been a member for 12 years, although Skyteam remains an option.</p> <p> &ldquo;Oneworld believes it represents the overwhelming best alliance value proposition for LATAM and has made clear that it would welcome TAM joining the group, alongside LAN,&rdquo; a Oneworld statement said.</p> <p> While that will relieve Qantas, which is exploring a deeper partnership with LAN, it will leave Air New Zealand with a headache.</p> <p> The Kiwi carrier was believed to be seeking a partnership with TAM to serve South America, an option that will vanish if TAM quits Star.</p> <p> LATAM said an alliance review will take place over the next few months.</p>


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