Chilean airline LAN's takeover of Brazil's TAM could be complete by the end of this year, chief operating officer Ignacio Cueto said on Tuesday.
LAN is waiting for the green light from Chile's anti-trust tribunal and regulators in Brazil to seal a multi-billion dollar deal with TAM to create one of the world's biggest airlines.
Asked when he expected the deal to go through, Cueto said: "At the end of this year or the beginning of 2012".
Cueto's brother Enrique, LAN's CEO, said in June that he expected the company's takeover of TAM to be finalised by March 2012.
The antitrust unit of Brazil's finance ministry last week recommended the approval of LAN's plan to buy rival TAM, saying the deal will not harm competition in the country's civil aviation market.
Decisions by two other anti-trust authorities are still pending.