14 Aug 2010

Airline merger planned in Sth America

11:39 am on 14 August 2010

Two South American airlines are planning to merge and create the biggest carrier in the region.

Brazil's largest airline TAM Linhas Aereas is looking to join with Chile's LAN as demand for air travel in Latin America continues to grow.

TAM said a combined airline would fly to 115 destinations in 23 countries, with a 40,000-strong workforce.

LAN confirmed the agreement, which it said was non-binding. The new carrier would be called Latam Airlines Group.

However, as was the case with the Air France-KLM merger in Europe, their brands would remain separate.

The BBC reports the new company would be created from an all-share transaction.

TAM is a member of the Star Alliance group of airlines, which includes BMI, Lufthansa, SAS and Air China.

LAN is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which includes Iberia, British Airways, Qantas and JAL.