SkyTeam flyers will finally have an airline based in South America after Aerolineas Argentinas announced its intention to begin the process of joining the alliance by the end of the month, with full integration by mid-2012.
While Star Alliance and OneWorld fight over which alliance the combined TAM/LAN will stick with, SkyTeam has secured a foothold in South America and added a carrier that serves 18 international destinations and 34 cities within Argentina.
Most notably in my view, SkyTeam flyers will have another way to get to Australia and New Zealand. Flying from North America or Europe to Sydney or Auckland with a stopover in Buenos Aires sounds like a great routing to me. As for soft product, the airline offers two-cabin service and business class seats are not lie-flat. But a "fleet restoration" is in progress. Hopefully that will include a modern premium cabin!
I’m sorry Star Alliance missed out on Aerolineas Argentinas–they would have been a great backup if LATAM falls through…
Another great two airlines that might join Star Alliance is TACA and Avianca from Central and South America.
@Oscar: That crossed my mind as well. I’ve flown on both airlines the last year and while they’re not great in terms of premium product, they would make good additions to Star Alliance, especially if we lose TAM.