Separately, they did just fine. Together, they are doing even better. In 2012 LAN Airlines, based in Chile, and TAM Airlines, based in Brazil, became LATAM Airlines Group, the largest airline association in South America. In August of this year, the brand announced a new brand identity as LATAM. LATAM’s new brand roll-out begins in 2016 and will continue for three years.
Until then each airline retains its own name and brand identity and flies its own routes, but passengers will find one thing identical: Both LAN and TAM offer the same wines, chosen once a year by Hector Vergara, the only Master Sommelier in Latin America. Vergara and a panel of wine experts begin with a pre-selection to narrow their choices to about 300 wines. They then spend three days judging the remaining wines, considering how each tastes, how it will pair with LATAM cuisine and how high-altitude pressure will affect the perception of that wine. They consider and eliminate until they whittle down the 300 wines to 30 for premium business. These are the wines offered on board, with the choice updated each month.
To give passengers a true South American experience, Vergara offers many of the continent’s wines since, he says, “South America’s varied terrains and temperatures are ideal for producing a diverse selection of varietals. Chile is the 10th-biggest wine producer in the world. Argentina is the fifth-largest wine producer and makes more than 70 percent of the world’s Malbec.” Vergara is considered a major authority on Chilean wine, which explains why usually 60 percent of his choices come from Chile. But he does not limit wines to South America. His sparkling wine is Champagne, and his table wine offerings include those from Spain, Australia and France.
When it comes to cuisine, LATAM Executive Chef Hugo Pantano searches for regional South American recipes and preparations. “We are proud of the South American seal of our onboard gastronomy,” he says. “It is deeply rooted to our culinary culture.”
Passengers flying LATAM currently can expect to find Bodega Dominio del Plata Blend 2011 and Bodega Salentein Pinot Grigio 2014 from Argentina, Viña Santa Rita Petite Sirah 2010 and Viña Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc 2014 from Chile, and the French Château Poujeaux Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot 2010.
In total, LATAM opens 365,000 bottles of wine on board each year in its Premium Business class; 222,000 are red and 143,000 are white.
All of which means whether you fly LAN or TAM, the pourings promise to fascinate.
Tucked away between the verdant hills of the Dominican Republic and beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, Samaná is the perfect year-round destination. No matter what time of year you choose to visit this hidden gem, you can check things off your travel bucket list. In the summer, escape the busy tourism hot spots and explore off-the-beaten path areas and activities; in the winter, embark on an eco-excursion like whale watching in Samaná Bay.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
The coastal town of Belek in Antalya serves as the setting for the brand new, 5-star Cullinan Belek, named for the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Set along the sparkling azure waters of the Turkish Riviera, the new property boasts its own private white-sand beach, with 600 plush guestrooms (including 10 luxurious villas), all providing sea views. The hotel also has 13 swimming pools, 10 dining venues and five bars.
Museums beckon wherever we go. They amuse and enlighten travelers and bring to public attention historical, artistic, scientific and natural wonders. Most are thought-provoking and educational, stretching our minds and our knowledge of the world. Some, however, stand out as just plain quirky: personal and sometimes whimsical collections, museums dedicated to a unique skill or long- forgotten industry, arcane collections originally designed for scientific study. Others devote their space to sharing a subject that represents one person’s consuming passion.
The Seoul Tourism Organization participated in IMEX, the world’s largest MICE exhibition, in Frankfurt, Germany, May 29–June 2. IMEX celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection celebrated an exciting moment recently when Evrima, its inaugural yacht, completed a series of successful sea trials. On June 9, in Santander, Spain, Evrima reached what is considered one of the final shipbuilding milestones prior to launch with the sea trials, a series of tests carried out when the yacht is sailing on open waters. Captain Steven MacBeath led the trials, alongside a team of senior officers, engineers, contractors and shipyard staff.
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