LATAM: The New Reality
after Chapter 11 — October 2021
Following the merger between Lan Chile and TAM to form South America’s leading multinational airline group, LATAM underwent a comprehensive (and profitable) transformation between 2015 and 2019. Baulked by Chile’s refusal to allow an immunised JV with American and IAG, it left the oneworld alliance after 20 years' membership to hitch up with Delta and form a JV with its new partner (which would hopefully be acceptable to the competition authorities). In the process Delta made a successful public tender for 20% of LATAM’s equity in December 2019, making it the largest single shareholder; the Cueto Group, former majority shareholder in Lan Chile, and the Amaro Group, former controllers of TAM, adjusted their various holdings to 16% and 6% respectively (Qatar Airways held on to its 10% stake). It was all looking quite exciting (see Aviation Strategy Dec 2019).