Owner of British Airways and Iberia, IAG, is looking to strengthen its links with leading South American carrier Latam Airlines Group as a way of lifting its trans-Atlantic profile.
Latam was “a group that we would like to have closer ties to,” IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said.
IAG already has close links with American Airlines and Walsh feels there is scope to come closer to Latam, even “potentially a joint venture”, he told Bloomberg news service.
IAG has in recent years bought British Midland, discount carrier Vueling and Ireland’s Aer Lingus Group.
Such moves are not rushed. The so-called BA-AA alliance took more than a decade to set in place.
Walsh told the Aviation Club in London South America was an important market and one which IAG was focussing on.
Latam was formed from a takeover of Brazilian carrier TAM (based in Sao Paulo) by Lan Airlines of Chile in 2012.
Written by William Sykes