oneworld is to strengthen its position as an airline alliance serving Latin America with the addition of two more carriers in the region - LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.The two newest carriers in the LAN alliance, the region’s leading airline, will become affiliate members of oneworld as soon as the necessary joining technicalities can be completed. All parties have committed to ensure that this takes place as early as possible in 2007.
Both airlines will then offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits. This means their frequent flyers will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers with top-tier members able to gain access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines. Members of other oneworld airlines will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on both LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador. The two airlines’ networks will also be covered by oneworld’s extensive range of alliance fares.
With Chile-based LAN Airlines a full member of the alliance since June 2000, along with its domestic subsidiary LAN Express and Peruvian sister LAN Peru as affiliate members, the latest additions will mean oneworld will have five Latin American airlines in its grouping.
With oneworld partners American Airlines and Iberia also serving Latin American extensively internationally, and British Airways flying to the region as well, it makes oneworld the obvious alliance of choice for traveling to, from or within this region.
Their addition also builds further on oneworld’s position as the leading Spanish-speaking alliance.
Their recruitment accelerates what was already oneworld’s the biggest expansion programme in its history, with recruits Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian preparing to join early next year, taking the alliance’s network to almost 700 destinations in approaching 150 countries.
Besides LAN Airlines, American, Iberia and British Airways, oneworld’s other existing members include Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Finnair and a dozen affiliates. A further five affiliates will join with Japan Airlines.
The two new affiliates will considerably broaden the alliance’s network within Latin America, through the addition of a domestic schedule within Argentina and regional international services to and from Argentina and Ecuador, besides expanding its links between the region and North America and Europe. LAN Argentina will also add four destinations to the oneworld map - Iguazœ (IGR), Comodoro Rivadavia (CRD), R’o Gallegos (RGL), El Calafate (FTE).
The two carriers received the green light to join oneworld at a meeting of the alliance’s Governing Board late last week. With the other members of the LAN alliance already part of oneworld, bringing the two new carriers on board the alliance will be a great deal more simple and speedy than implementing completely new recruits to the grouping. Precise dates for their joining will be announced in due course.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “I’m delighted to welcome LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador on board oneworld. Both offer a level of service to match the best in the world, in keeping with oneworld’s overall emphasis on quality. With our extensive presence in Latin America already, their addition strengthens oneworld’s position as the leading alliance serving this region.
LAN Airlines Chief Executive Enrique Cueto said: “It is with great pride that I announce today the addition of LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador to oneworld. The high quality and safety standards of the service they provide to passengers has earned them membership in this prestigious alliance formed by the world’s top airlines. Without any doubt this constitutes a clear recognition of our on-going commitment to our customers and our determination to deliver an excellent quality product that meets the highest standards of international safety.”