The two carriers exited Star Alliance at the end of the day on March 30 and officially began services as oneworld members on the morning of March 31. The alliance switch was driven by mergers: TAM’s with oneworld member LAN Airlines in June 2012 to form LATAM Airlines Group and US Airways’ with oneworld’s American Airlines in December 2013.
“The addition of TAM and US Airways represents the biggest single day of growth since the alliance started 15 years ago,” International Airlines Group CEO and new oneworld chairman Willie Walsh said at a oneworld press conference in São Paulo. “We believe it is the single biggest day of growth for any of the alliances … Brazil is one of the most important markets for all airlines … We know in Brazil we now have a partner with an excellent network.”
TAM and US Airways add nearly 100 destinations to oneworld’s network; 45 operated to by TAM and more than 50 operated to by US Airways. Walsh noted the alliance’s worldwide network now reaches 1,000 destinations.