MIAMI – Qatar Airways hosted the board of directors of LATAM Airlines in Doha celebrating an expanded codesharing arrangement between both carriers.
The three-day visit that occurred between October 13-15, consisted of LATAM executive staff members touring Qatar Airways’ technical facilities in Doha, as well as Hamad Airport’s lounges.
Commenting on the deal was Qatar Airways Group CEO, Akbar Al Baker, who expressed delight over this upgraded deal.
“We were delighted to welcome LATAM’s board and senior management to Doha and to have had such productive discussions about how we can continue to work together to benefit our millions of passengers and cargo customers,” Al Baker said.
“Since 2017, Qatar Airways has witnessed the significant benefits that codeshare cooperation has brought, providing passengers with unrivalled service and a seamless connection between South America and the Middle-East and Asia.”
Al Baker also highlighted how this expanded agreement would further benefit both carrier’s passengers. “The expansion of the codeshare agreement between Qatar Airways and LATAM Airlines Brazil will provide even greater connectivity for passengers of the World’s Best Airline and the Best Airline in South America.”
Under the deal, there will be bilateral connections for Qatar Airways to penetrate markets such as Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Curitiba, Lima and Bogota, which is the first of many announced.
On top of this, LATAM’s passengers will be able to connect on Qatar Airways flights between Sao Paulo and Doha, which will offer 25 onward connectable destinations within the Middle East, East Africa and South Asia, with Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore being named as some of the main connections.
Qatar’s relationship with the Brazilian market has been in place since 2010 when services to Sao Paulo were launched. These flights would then connect onwards to Buenos Aires in Argentina.
This boost in codeshare comes over a year since the unilateral agreement was signed with LATAM Airlines Brazil.
The departing group CEO of LATAM, Enrique Cueto, also thanked Qatar Airways for its support and extended partnership. “We thank Qatar Airways for inviting us to Doha to hold our board meeting and visit its state-of-the-art facilities. We had productive meetings and had the opportunity to learn about the products and services that make it one of the world’s leading airlines for customers,” Cueto said.
This is a significant deal as it is merging a lot of destinations together that had not been previously connected.
Furthermore, the sizing of both these groups is similar in their own respect. LATAM serves 143 destinations across 25 countries, with Qatar Airways servicing over 160 destinations.
LATAM will most likely be set to benefit from Qatar’s growth strategy, especially as we begin to edge closer towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup that is to be hosted in Doha.
Qatar Airways’ strategy is to grow to 250 destinations by that time, so in this case, passengers of LATAM could benefit from the easier connections.
On top of this, there could also be potential for further upgrades in the codesharing arrangements as we get closer to the popular Football tournament.