Many people may have heard about LATAM‘s merger over the past few years, and we are just on the cusp of a new combined brand being rolled out throughout South America. Being one of the largest airline groups in the world, chances are, if you are headed to a South American country anytime soon, the new merger will probably be a part of your journey experience. We take some time out of the airline’s hectic rebrand to find out what to expect…
Thank you for taking the time to talk to TheDesignAir. When two brands merge, usually either one dominant brand takes over, (such as United with Continental) or a totally new brand is created, is there any hint what to expect from LATAM?
Since the merger, we have been working to develop a single travel experience and brand shared by both LAN and TAM. We are working to bring out the best in both airlines and reflect the most important features of our region.
There are hints at a merged passenger experience from what we have seen with your new short-haul interiors, yet still a slightly misaligned long haul product… can we expect more unity in the passenger experience moving forward?
LATAM Airlines Group is making changes to the cabins of its current aircraft fleet to ensure that LAN and TAM offer a unique, unified product and travel experience.
LATAM Airlines Group’s new cabins are inspired by the colors and textures of South America, featuring a balance between the passion of our culture and the elegance of natural tones in a unique cabin that has personality and provides a memorable world-class experience to all LAN and TAM passengers.
Each element was carefully selected and designed, recognizing the best traits of our countries. In this spirit, the rich wood diversity of our region is reflected in ceiling and seat details; the tiles from the Ipanema promenade inspired the details of the flooring in the lavatory. Curtains, carpets and flooring reflect the textures, fabrics and colors found in the countries in our region.
Furthermore, carpets in Boeing 787-9s and Airbus A350s are upholstered for greater comfort and coziness during long flights.
The new Airbus 321, Boeing 787-9 and Airbus 350 aircraft for delivery starting in 2015 will come equipped with the new LATAM Airlines Group cabin design.
Is the idea to align into one brand? If so, how will the brand manage to combine the identities of all the countries involved in the airline?
LATAM Airlines Group is working closely with Interbrand, the world’s leading Branding firm, to create a single brand that reflects the best of LAN and TAM.
When can we expect an announcement on the new brand?
The company is focused on defining this aspect and we hope to have news in the first half of 2015. When the moment comes, we will make an announcement. For now, we continue to make strides in standardizing the travel experience for passengers, focusing on building consistency between LAN and TAM.
How long will the two brands continue to exist as singular brands? Will the brand be a slow transition or will it be unveiled in one go?
We have yet to set an exact date for completion of the integration, which involves a number of steps completed sequentially over the course of the coming years. For now, we can say that LAN and TAM continue operating under their current brands in parallel and as they have up to this point, with the service, safety and quality they have always provided, maintaining headquarters in Santiago and São Paulo, respectively.
Both LAN and TAM have great recognition around the world, is their questions that the new brand will be as powerful as the two more established legacy carriers?
LATAM Airlines Group is currently the leader in its region and we aspire to become one of the three largest airline groups in the world and the leading operator in Latin American by 2018.
One of our greatest advantages is our unique strategic positioning in South America and multiple domestic operations throughout the region. We have the largest network of destinations in South America and we will use this competitive advantage to provide passengers with the best options.
Furthermore, our main objective is to remain passengers’ first choice in the region for the unique flight experience we provide. Thanks to technological advances, hard work and investments, we are capable of delivering the same travel experience in a faster, expedited fashion, while reducing airport wait and connection times.
In 2014 we invested more than US$100 million in implementing digital solutions to allow passengers to conduct paperless check-in using their mobile devices, managing all variables of their flight through our App, in addition to providing information more quickly and more inflight entertainment options, among other solutions.
What exciting developments can we expect over the coming months?
In 2015 we have many important milestones including the arrival of the first LAN Boeing 787-9 (the first in Latin America), which will begin commercial operations in April. We also have the unveiling and inauguration of the new LATAM Airlines Group VIP lounge in Santiago, the largest VIP lounge in Latin America and the fourth for LAN and TAM passengers in the region. LAN and TAM are the official airlines of the Copa America, the principle soccer tournament for Latin American teams which will take place in Chile from June 11 – July 4. Lastly, TAM will be the first airline in the Americas and the fourth in the world to receive and operate the new Airbus A350-900 aircraft, one of the most modern aircraft in the world.