Chile’s LAN Airlines expects a planned merger with Brazil’s TAM Airlines to be approved in mid-2011, according to a top executive.

The merger, which was originally announced in August, needs to be approved by regulators in both countries.

Local media outlets have reported that some authorities fear the merger would give LAN nearly complete control over the Santiago-Sao Paulo route.

Dismissing the fears of regulators, LAN Chief Operating Officer Ignacio Cueto said in a recent radio interview that the airlines are hopeful they will begin working together by mid-2011.

Source: Reuters

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