LATAM Airlines will join Delta Air Lines at New York JFK’s Terminal 4 on Feb. 1, enabling passengers to connect on Delta flights to more than 90 destinations in the US and worldwide.
The move will see the Chilean airline transfer operations from JFK’s Terminal 8, which it currently shares with erstwhile partner American Airlines.
“The relocation of LATAM's operations at JFK Airport marks another important milestone in our journey toward offering the best connectivity and customer experience in the Americas,” said LATAM commercial VP Roberto Alvo. “We are committed to providing an expedited transition for passengers around the world, working tirelessly to offer the benefits of the deal with Delta as soon as possible.”
The migration to JFK’s terminal 4 comes on the heels of Delta’s completion of its acquisition of a 20% stake in LATAM in early January, valued at roughly $1.94 billion. In December, LATAM’s Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian subsidiaries inked codeshare agreements with Delta, subject to approval by regulators in the various countries.
LATAM’s Colombian unit became the first of its South American subsidiaries to receive such approval when Colombian authorities green-lighted the codeshare agreement mid-January. LATAM said in a Jan. 16 press release that it expects to receive approval from Ecuadorian and Peruvian regulators during the first half of 2020, while codeshare agreements with its Brazilian and Chilean units are expected to gain approval later in the year. On the US side, the proposed codeshare agreements with the Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian subsidiaries were approved by the Department of Transportation in December.
LATAM will cease codesharing with American on Jan. 31, although existing agreements governing frequent flyer and reciprocal access to VIP lounges will remain in effect until the Santiago-based airline group formally exits the oneworld alliance. While the exact timing of that move remains unclear, LATAM said Jan. 16 it is “evaluating an early departure date,” adding that “any changes will be communicated in a timely manner.”
After exiting oneworld, LATAM said it plans to maintain bilateral agreements with most of the alliance's member airlines, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and Sri Lanka Airlines. The Chilean airline group abandoned plans to create a joint venture with oneworld members and IAG subsidiaries British Airways and Iberia in December, a move that was widely expected following announcement of the Delta transaction in September.