Leading Latin American airlines LAN of Chile and Tam of Brazil have announced merger plans in a bold bid to position themselves for future growth a fast-consolidating global industry.
“As the world industry consolidates we cannot stand still,” said Enrique Cueto, the chief executive of LAN who will also be chief executive of the new parent company, to be called Latam Airline Group.
The new group says it expects to achieve “real and achievable” annual synergies of $400m through alignment of passenger networks, growth in cargo operations in Brazil and internationally and cost savings.
The two airlines carried a combined 45m passengers and 832,000 tons of cargo in 2009. Merged, they will operate 115 destinations to 23 cities, with a fleet of 220 planes and 40,000 employees.