A joint business pact is being forged by International Airlines Group between British Airways, Iberia and LATAM Airlines Group on flights between Europe and South America.

Better links between Europe and South America are being promised through a greater choice of flights and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.

The airlines’ combined route network which would serve more than 100 destinations in South America and 87 destinations in Europe.

The carriers plan to seek approval from the appropriate competition authorities in South America and will inform the regulatory authorities in the European Union.

Regulatory approval could take between 12 and 18 months, according to IAG.

Under the joint business, BA, Iberia and LATAM Airlines Group would co-operate commercially on flights between the European Union and South America.

They would expand codeshare flights between and within Europe and South America, “significantly” increasing the number of destinations that the airlines can offer.

The agreement would also strengthen the Oneworld alliance in which all the airlines are members.

IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, said: “We already have a close commercial relationship with LATAM Airlines Group as part of Oneworld and we look forward to enhancing the relationship further.

“This joint business would benefit customers by providing them with easier journeys to more destinations with better aligned schedules and increased frequencies. This would boost both tourism and business travel between South America and Europe.”

LATAM Airlines Group’s chief executive, Enrique Cueto, said: “This is excellent news for Latin America. This agreement would significantly improve connectivity bringing Europe closer to our region by providing a wider choice of flights and great benefits to our customers.

“This step is key to ensuring we offer the best network to our customers and increase the options to add new destinations to LATAM and its affiliates’ networks.”