(Adds comments from American’s CEO, background details)
SANTIAGO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Chile-headquartered LATAM Airlines said on Thursday that it has inked separate business agreements to deepen its ties with American Airlines Group Inc and IAG’s British Airlines and Iberia, members of the Oneworld Alliance.
“Throughout the implementation of the agreements, each airline will continue to operate independently and maintain control of their respective operations. These agreements will not cause any changes to the ownership or administration of the airlines,” the company said in a statement.
American and LATAM plan to apply for immunity from antitrust law, which would help the airlines coordinate schedules and prices for flights among their countries of operation.
If approved, the agreement between American and LATAM would improve connectivity between South America and the United States and Canada. The agreement between LATAM and IAG’s British and Iberia would increase flight options between Europe and Latin America.
“Customers will benefit from more frequent and convenient schedule options than the carriers could offer individually. Travelers headed to Latin America will soon have more seamless access to more than 100 additional destinations with LATAM beyond American’s already extensive network,” said Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of American. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Additional reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby, Bernard Orr)