Major South American airlines Lan and TAM have agreed to retire their individudal brand names to form a new one, Latam. The airlines merged two years ago but have continued to use the names and operate their routes independently.
According to officials, the new Latam name incorporates the names of both airlines and is a recognition of the merger. “The new identity is necessary for the company to move forward together,” said Latam CEO Enrique Cueto. “It will also help us optimize our fleet of aircraft and allow us create a unified, booking service and generally provide our passengers with better service.”
Latam will be the largest airline in Latin America.
Lan, previously Lan Chile, has expanded rapidly in recent years, becoming not only the major carrier in Chile but in Peru as well. Lan flies about 30% of the routes in Ecuador, serving Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.
The new Latam will operate in Argentina, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, according to Cueto. The new operation will also coordinate cargo services that are currently operated separately by Lan and TAM.
The new company said it is working to change the corporate image and expects the process to take three years to complete. In addition to repainting aircraft, the change will mean closing some, and opening new offices, and redesigning uniforms and websites. The process will begin in early 2016.
Cuerto said that the unified airline aims to become “an ambassador of Latin America as the region continues to grows and prosper.”