American Airlines, which quickly withdraw its codeshares with LATAM after Delta took a stake, has teamed up with GOL to codeshare several flights within Brazil.
American Airlines AAdvantage and GOL Smiles members can, after codeshare deal has been approved, both earn and redeem on each other’s flights (again).
Here’s the announcement from AA:
FORT WORTH, Texas and RIO DE JANEIRO — American Airlines and GOL, Brazil’s largest airline, today announced a new reciprocal codeshare agreement, giving customers access to 20 new destinations in South America. American will also increase service from Miami (MIA) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG), adding a second daily flight this winter. The airline also plans to provide more opportunities to bring customers to Latin America through MIA by adding 12 flights from six U.S. cities.
American’s expansion in Miami and Latin America includes:
- Service to new destinations in South America not currently served by American. These flights — operated by GOL — include service to Asuncion, Paraguay, and other destinations in Brazil.
- GOL codeshare established on American routes in the United States, paired with frequent flier earning and redemption on both airlines soon after approval.
- Increased flying out of MIA, including an additional flight from MIA to GIG during the peak winter months on a Boeing 787-8 — one of American’s first 787-8s operating out of MIA.
- 12 more year-round, daily domestic frequencies, including increased flying from Nashville (BNA), Boston (BOS), Houston (IAH), Orlando (MCO), Raleigh-Durham (RDU) and Tampa (TPA) to MIA.
“We are proud of our strong presence in Latin America, which includes 170 daily flights to the region, Admirals Club lounges and dedicated Premium Guest Services teams in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo,” said American Airlines President Robert Isom.
Codeshare to deliver significant customer benefits
After it is approved by authorities in the United States and Brazil, American and GOL’s new codeshare will allow customers to connect seamlessly to 53 GOL flights beyond GIG, Sao Paulo (GRU), Brasilia (BSB), Manaus (MAO) and Fortaleza (FOR).
“We have a long and rich history in South America, and this new relationship with GOL further enhances our presence in the region,” said Vasu Raja, Senior Vice President of Network Strategy. “Our customers will continue to have access to places they’ve always loved to travel to on American like Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, and will gain access to new destinations on their wish list. We’ll continue to evaluate our network and seek strategic partnerships that benefit our customers and enhance our network.”
“As two of the leading airlines in Brazil and the U.S., GOL and American Airlines will offer the best experience for customers on the largest number of flights and destinations in the Americas”, said GOL CEO Paulo Kakinoff. “This will strengthen GOL’s presence in international markets and accelerate our long-term growth.”
The new codeshare destinations in South America not currently served by American include Asuncion, Paraguay (ASU); Curitiba, Brazil (CWB) and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (IGU), pending government approvals. American anticipates GOL’s code to be placed on select flights. The relationship will allow for future frequent flyer redemption and accrual during the first half of 2020.
“GOL and American Airlines will now offer the most convenient flights between South America and the United States,” said Eduardo Bernardes, Vice President of Commercial and Marketing at GOL. “We have strengthened our presence in major airports to better serve our customers. The codeshare partnership will soon increase to more than 30 destinations in the U.S.”
GOL can provide functional connectivity within Brazil, but cannot match the LATAM’s network all over South America. Although AA touts this as a new partnership that it is not. Both airlines were working together, at least on the frequent flier program side when TAM, later LATAM, was part of Star Alliance before joining and now on its way out of Oneworld.
American Airlines touts its Latin American operations on the press release (cut them out). They must feel the intense competitive pressure from Delta that has extended its services in the continent.
Well. At least in due course, AAdvantage and Smiles members can redeem their miles on GOL and American Airlines flights.
Among Azul, GOL, and LATAM, the new American Airlines partner is my least favorite of the three, although there is not that much difference between them.