Costing $1.9billion, Delta’s investment in the airline will create the ‘leading’ airline partnership in the Americas and lead to LATAM’s exit from oneworld and the end of its partnership with American Airlines.
It has not been confirmed if LATAM will subsequently join the SkyTeam alliance, of which Delta is a leading member.
“This alliance with Delta strengthens our company and enhances our leadership in Latin America by providing the best connectivity through our highly complementary route networks,” says Enrique Cueto Plaza, Chief Executive Officer of LATAM.
A statement from oneworld said: “We are disappointed, but we respect their decision. They have been a valued long-term member of the alliance, and we wish them well.”
It continued: “Our priority at this time is to our customers and while LATAM remains a member of oneworld, the full customer benefits will continue to be delivered.
“Oneworld remains a strong coalition of high-quality airlines. There has been significant progress in member airlines deepening their bilateral relationships, as evidenced by the recent regulatory approval of the American Airlines and Qantas joint business.”
LATAM recently unveiled new Premium Business class seats that will feature on all its international services by May next year.