Earlier this week, Colombia’s civilian aviation authority, Aeronáutica Civil, or Aerocivil, approved the joint venture between Delta Air Lines, LATAM Airlines Group S.A. and its subsidiary LATAM Airlines Colombia S.A. without conditions. The airlines say their joint venture will “improve air connectivity and provide passengers and cargo customers with a seamless travel experience between North and South America” once regulatory approvals have been obtained.
As of last Tuesday, the agreement has also been granted the authorization of regulatory entities in Brazil and Uruguay, while the review process continues in other countries, including LATAM’s home country of Chile.
The joint venture effort was formed in 2020, several months after Delta Airlines induced LATAM to break its long-standing alliance with American Airlines, leaving American without a strategic partner in South America. Delta invested $1.9 billion USD into LATAM for a 20% stake, and a seat on its board of directors. This happened after Chile’s supreme court blocked a business alliance between LATAM, American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia, so it is notable that Chile has yet to approve the current joint venture.
Less than a year after the joint venture initiative was launched, in May of 2020, LATAM declared bankruptcy during the COVID-19 pandemic