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The decision by Delta Air Lines to invest $100 million in Brazil's GOL showcases just how intense the battle for the Latin American market is becoming (our subscriber only story here). But there are other battles ahead. A key battle will be between oneworld and Star over which alliance the combined TAM/LAN will join. TAM is a Star member, with LAN a partner in oneworld, but regulators have said that arrangement will have to cease. The combined entity can be in one alliance, in none, or one of the branded airlines can remain in its alliance, as long as the other withdraws.IAG chairman Antonio Vazquez, speaking at the U.K. Aviation Club, gave a shout-out yesterday to LAN, praising the relationship and clearly signalling his interest in keeping the alliance relationship alive.The interest in Latin America also is driving mergers and acquisitions discussion. One of the reasons TAP Portugal is seen as attractive is the market access it provides to Brazil. But rather than investing in TAP, it may make more sense for an airline to invest in TAM and try to capture the market from that side, suggests Jonathan Sullivan, Head of Seabury Consulting EMEA during IEA's The Future of Air Transport conference in London.In other words, watch this space...
tw99, alliance, oneworld, star
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