What the Delta – LATAM Deal Means for Travelers

Delta A220-200

Following Delta’s deal to purchase a 20 percent stake in Chile-based airline group LATAM, American Airlines – which had also been pursuing a deal with the group – has released an update on how the deal affects travelers. 

American said that it has suspended new codeshare bookings only. It is not currently aware of any customers of American or LATAM who are being denied travel, and that both airlines are accepting customers and their baggage per their current agreements. There is no impact to customers who are currently booked on American or LATAM, but if a customer needs to make changes to an existing itinerary involving an American codeshare flight operated by LATAM to a market that American serves, the airline will rebook the customer on an American flight. Codeshares remain available on existing LATAM routes that American does not serve. Additionally, in the event of irregular operations, American’s customer service and reservation agents will still be able to book on LATAM as a oneworld carrier. The oneworld lounge access policy also remains unchanged, and there is currently no change to American’s frequent flier agreement. AAdvantage members will continue to earn miles on flights marketed by LATAM. 

American said that it will wind down the agreements with LATAM that are still intact today, and that it will work with LATAM to ensure customers are “taken care of” during that process. 

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New American Airlines Flights to Latin America

Shortly following the announcement of the Delta – LATAM deal, American announced increased air service to Latin America out of Miami. On April 7, 2020, the airline will increase its service to Lima, Peru, from twice per day to three times per day on a Boeing 757 year-round. Next winter, the airline will add an additional flight to Santiago, Chile, as well as a third flight to São Paulo, Brazil. Both services will be operated on a 777-200. 

What’s Next for Delta

Delta’s deal to purchase a 20 percent stake in LATAM, which the airline announced late last week, will allow the airline to continue to grow and build on its existing joint ventures, including its partnership with Aeroméxico, Delta said. Delta will also acquire four A350 aircraft and assume LATAM’s commitment to purchase 10 additional A350s to be delivered beginning in 2020 through 2025. Together, Delta and LATAM serve 435 destinations worldwide, Delta said. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. 

According to the Associated Press, American had also been pursuing a deal with LATAM. That agreement, however, was blocked by a ruling in a Chilean court. 

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