Brazil's TAM Airlines has joined the Star Alliance network, becoming its 27th member.
"Our integration into the world's leading global commercial aviation alliance will allow us to expand our services, offering our customers a smooth and integrated travel experience," says TAM's CEO Líbano Barroso.
The carrier serves more than 40 destinations in Brazil and 10 airports in South America. It also flies to the USA and Europe.
"With TAM Airlines we gain a carrier based in South America, an important aviation market and home to many growing economies. Combining TAM Airlines' network with that of our existing member carriers will allow Star Alliance to offer a very competitive product to, from and within this region," says Star Alliance's CEO Jaan Albrecht.
TAM first started informal negotiations to join the alliance in 2006.
"After the official announcement of our acceptance as a future Star Alliance member in October of 2008, we started to align our operating processes, which involved our functional team at all levels, as well as those of all of our partner carriers," says the airline's VP for commercial and planning, Paulo Castello Branco.