LATAM Airlines (LA, Santiago de Chile Int'l) has confirmed the date when it will formally leave the Oneworld alliance, as the South American carrier ramps up its partnership plans with its now 20% owner Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson).

"In line with the standard notice period of one year, LATAM Airlines Group advised Oneworld and its alliance partners that it would leave Oneworld, effective October 1, 2020," a LATAM spokesperson informed Executive Traveller.

The withdrawal leaves the global alliance without a significant Latin American presence. The move follows Delta's decision to buy a 20% stake in LATAM, worth USD1.9 billion dollars, and with the stroke of a pen, created a major partnership between two of the most important carriers in North and South America.

As part of the deal, Delta will acquire four A350-900s currently flown by LATAM and will take ownership of ten additional A350s to be delivered between 2020 to 2025.

Whether LATAM will realign itself with the Skyteam alliance, of which Delta was a founding member, is still unknown. Such a move may not be deemed necessary, particularly as many airlines seem to be extracting less value from alliances versus the more direct benefits of taking stakes in fellow airlines and joint ventures, a path that Delta seems committed to follow at the moment.

LATAM – previously two airlines, LAN Airlines (LA, Santiago de Chile Int'l) and TAM Linhas Aéreas (JJ, Sao Paulo Congonhas) – has a colourful alliance history.

Chile's LAN Airlines joined Oneworld in 2000, and by 2007, had also brought three of its South American affiliates under the alliance's flag, including LAN Perú (LP, Lima Int'l), LAN Argentina (4M, Buenos Aires Aeroparque) and LAN Ecuador (XL, Quito Int'l).

Brazil's TAM, joined rival Star Alliance in 2010, before merging with LAN in 2012, and then quit Star in 2014 to join Oneworld. Both airlines were then rebranded as LATAM in 2015, as a Oneworld member.