LATAM and Virgin Atlantic have submitted an application for a codeshare agreement to the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The agreement aims to connect South American travelers to the UK and vice versa. Both airlines foresee this agreement as being mutually beneficial as LATAM and Virgin Atlantic will significantly expand their networks, giving their passengers more travel options than ever before.

The codeshare agreement will enable LATAM passengers to book flights to the UK on LATAM’s website. These flights would take passengers from their South American destination to the US. From there, they would board a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for the UK. The same will be true for passengers looking to go the other way across the pond. Virgin Atlantic customers will now be able to book trips to South American destinations on Virgin Atlantic’s website.

LATAM Airlines Boeing 787 Landing at JFK

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Passengers wishing to travel between Europe and South America can already book a flight to the US and a separate flight to Europe. However, this requires the customer to book through two different airlines. With a codeshare, all arrangements can be made on one website, adding another level of convenience for the passenger. The tickets will be marked with codes VS and LA for those utilizing the codeshare option. A notable feature of this agreement is that it will only include the Peruvian, Chilean, and Colombian subsidiaries of LATAM.

This agreement will allow both airlines to advertise more foreign and unique destinations. Virgin Atlantic will be able to advertise distant South American destinations to its customers, and LATAM will be able to promote Iconic European destinations. Both airlines will benefit greatly from this partnership as they will continuously provide one another with passengers.

Pending approval

Before either airline can reap any rewards from this agreement, it must first be approved. Because the airlines will connect in the US, the DOT must decide whether the agreement will proceed or not. Many airlines have codeshare agreements with airlines inside the US, such as the Aer Lingus and JetBlue agreement. However, far fewer only use the US as a changeover point. The airlines have clarified in their application to the DOT that they wish to receive approval promptly so they may begin these codeshare flights as soon as possible.

LATAM Airlines Boeing 787 Landing at JFK airport

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

It is likely the codeshare agreement will be approved for several reasons. In recent years many codeshare agreements in the US have been approved with little hesitation. Another reason the airlines are optimistic that they will receive approval is the presence of existing contracts. The Air Transport Agreement between the US and the UK allows airlines to enter cooperative marketing agreements.

On the southern side, the LATAM operations fall under the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transport (MALIAT). Both the US and Chile are a part of this agreement, allowing codeshare agreements to exist. Ultimately, the DOT will determine whether or not the agreement will be approved. The existing contracts do not guarantee anything to the airlines, although their existence indicates that approval is probable.

What do you think of this proposed codeshare agreement? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Aviacion Line

  • Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1041 (2)

    Virgin Atlantic

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    London Heathrow Airport

    Year Founded:

    Shai Weiss

    United Kingdom


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