Both airlines exit the Star Alliance today, Sunday 30 March.
The reason for the change in alliance membership for both airlines is because of a change in ownership. TAM Airlines has merged with LAN to become part of the LATAM Airlines Group. US Airways has merged with American Airlines, and in its case will become subsumed into American Airlines.
On membership of Oneworld, members of Oneworld airline frequent flyer programmes will be entitled to earn miles and receive reciprocal frequent flyer benefits when flying on either TAM or US Airways.
TAM is a welcome addition to the alliance. We’ve always been impressed by TAM on domestic flights in Brazil. The combined American Airlines/US Airways entity (subject to learning lessons from other US airlines on merging operations) should also open up a lot of new opportunities for the alliance.
Expect more announcements in the coming months regarding greater co-operation by both TAM and US Airways between other Oneworld alliance members, particularly as far as the transatlantic joint-venture between British Airways and American Airlines.
Finally, in other alliance related news, SriLankan Airlines will also join Oneworld on 1 May of this year.