Airline alliance SkyTeam announced on Tuesday that Argentina’s flag carrier and largest airline, Aerolineas Argentinas, would become the newest member of the alliance.

Aerolineas Argentinas will be the first South American carrier to join the team of global airlines. The announcement marked the beginning of the relationship and full incorporation of Aerolineas Argentinas is expected to be completed sometime in 2012.

SkyTeam, which was founded back in 2000 with an agreement between Delta Airlines, Korean Airlines, Air France and Aeromexico, has been looking to expand its presence in South America and the addition of the Argentinean carrier will help to achieve this.

SkyTeam says the addition of Aerolineas Argentinas will bring greater options to passengers travelling to, from and within South America, both in terms of codeshare flights and accruing and utilizing frequent flyer programs.

The move to join SkyTeam is part of the carrier’s recently revealed restructuring plan in which it seeks to strengthen its business model and increase its market share of flights throughout the Americas.

Meanwhile, SkyTeam, whose carriers host some 385 million passengers annually to nearly 900 destinations, continues to seek partners to expand its global network. The alliance is reported to be looking to add additional carriers from Latin America and the south and Southeast Asian regions.