He argued that "LAN are very much core members of Oneworld," and that the new Latam Airlines company already sees the advantages of remaining in OneWorld. Of course, LAN/TAM have been mum on the issue and Walsh hedged his bet by stating, "Our focus will be to ensure LAN remains an active member of Oneworld…Maybe Star will have more of a challenge convincing TAM of the benefits."
Actually, I can think of quite a few reasons why Latam should choose Star Alliance over OneWorld. First, Star Alliance will give LAN flyers access to more places (objective assessment) on better airlines (subjective assessment) around the world. Second, Star Alliance would be very weak in South America without TAM and therefore has an incentive to actively woo Latam. I suspect that both alliances will be working around the clock to make it worth Latam’s while to choose their alliance.
Walsh believes the LATAM predicament cannot be compared to the messy battle between SkyTeam and OneWorld over Japan Airlines (JAL). While the facts are different, I predict a battle just as messy over the fate of which alliance the new member will align with.