Brazil approves merger of airlines

Updated: 2011-12-15 10:48


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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's anti-monopoly authorities approved Wednesday the merger of the Brazilian airline TAM with Chile's LAN, creating the largest airline in Latin America.

The merger, announced in August 2010, has already been approved by the National Civil Aviation Council and Chilean authorities.

Wednesday's approval by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense was unanimous, but some conditions were also set to the merger.

Under the conditions, LATAM, the product of the merger, should reduce the number of flights between Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, and the Chilean capital of Santiago.

Moreover, the two airlines have to choose a single international airline alliance. TAM is currently a member of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance based in Germany, while LAN is affiliated to New York-based OneWorld.

LATAM will be a giant in the region's aviation sector, which will employ about 40,000 people. The new airline will operate a fleet of 220 planes and fly passengers and cargoes to 115 destinations in 23 countries.