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Delta and LATAM Announce Loyalty Agreement, Roll-Out First Codeshare Operations
The partnership between Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group, signed in September 2019, saw another important step announced this week. From April 1, frequent fliers of both carriers will count with reciprocity of miles earnings and redemptions.
The reciprocity for Delta SkyMiles and LATAM Pass members will be valid at 100 percent of both airlines’ networks, Delta stated in a news release. Elite benefits will only be available later in the year, although no starting date was reported.
Delta’s International President and Executive Vice-President for Global Sales, Steve Sear, stated in a press release that “together with LATAM, we are building an industry leading and customer-focused partnership that connects North and South America like never before.”
“With frequent flyer reciprocity and new codeshare flight options, we’re already beginning to deliver on this partnership for our customers, with much more to come,” added Sear.
Delta’s Codesharing with LATAM
Delta also announced the sales start-up of its first codesharing flights with LATAM in South America. Flights operated by LATAM’s Colombia and Ecuador branches are already available on Delta’s website, alongside other select interlining routes combining LATAM and Delta legs.
Codesharing between Delta and LATAM’s branch in Peru should have flights started by March 29, still pending government approval. When fully implemented at these South American countries, Delta says the agreements would boost connectivity on 74 onward routes in the U.S. and 51 onward legs in South America.
Delta also announced the reaching of an agreement that adds its code to select flights operated by LATAM Airlines Brasil. Delta says this agreement alone will add connectivity to 65 routes of its U.S.-Canada network and up to 37 routes operated by LATAM in Brazil. Although this codesharing is also pending authority approval, the airline expects it to begin in the first half of 2020.
Terminal Changes in São Paulo/Guarulhos
Starting from March 29, Delta will move its operations in São Paulo/Guarulhos — LATAM Brasil’s main hub — to the airport’s Terminal 3, where the Latin American group operates its international flights. Up until now, the American airline operated from Terminal 2, where GOL placed all its operations.
While this will facilitate international connections, passengers connecting from or to Brazilian destinations will have to change terminals. LATAM Brasil’s domestic operation in Guarulhos is also located in Terminal 2, being Guarulhos’ Terminal 3 an international-only gateway.
Nonetheless, LATAM’s VIP lounge in Guarulhos is located in Terminal 3. In this regard, once this step of the partnership is achieved later in the year, Delta’s elite passengers will be eligible for access there, which may make for an enhanced customer experience.
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