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American Airlines to invest in Brazilian carrier GOL

American Airlines has announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to further solidify its partnership with Brazil’s largest airline, GOL. American says that ‘building on the two carriers’ initial codeshare offering in 2020, the expanded partnership includes an exclusive codeshare agreement, a larger and more lucrative joint SMILES and AAdvantage® loyalty program partnership’.

Codeshare between the United States and Brazil

GOL will become American’s sole codeshare partner in Brazil and American will become GOL’s sole codeshare partner in the United States. With both their networks combined, passengers can travel to more than 30 destinations served by American in the US and more than 20 new destinations in South America served by GOL.

Robert Isom, President, American Airlines, said:

American has long been the leading U.S. carrier to South America and our stronger partnership with GOL solidifies that leadership position. Our long-haul network marries seamlessly with GOL’s strong domestic network in Brazil. Together, we will be able to offer customers flying to, through and from Brazil, access to the largest network with the lowest fares and the Americas’ biggest and best joint travel loyalty program.

American has served Latin America since 1942 and operates flights to 17 destinations in South America, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, from its US hubs in Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami and New York. The carrier states that it has flown more than 14 million passengers between the US and Brazil in the last 10 years – more than twice as many as any other US carrier. GOL serves 63 destinations in Brazil and is the country’s largest airline.

Paulo Kakinoff, CEO, GOL, said:

This codeshare agreement between two of the leading airlines in the Americas combines our highly complementary route networks to offer customers a seamless travel experience with the largest number of flights and destinations in North and South America. We believe that this will bolster GOL’s presence in international markets, accelerate our long-term growth, and maximize value for our shareholders. It adds to our confidence in GOL’s growth as the economy reopens and travel demand increases.

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Enhanced Joint Loyalty Offering

American states that the largest network in the Americas will also be the ‘most’ rewarding for travellers. Starting 2022, GOL’s SMILES and American’s AAdvantage loyalty members will gain access to their elite benefits such as priority check-in, priority security, priority boarding, a larger checked baggage allowance, lounge access and preferred seats on both airlines. The two airlines also expect to offer an enhanced joint loyalty offering to give passengers more ways to earn and redeem miles.

Commercial Cooperation

American further states that the ‘strengthened relationship’ will also allow for further commercial cooperation in areas such as purchasing, sales tools and systems integrations, as allowed by regulatory and contractual limitations. American Airlines will have ‘the right to appoint one member to GOL’s board of directors, who, in addition to other duties, will be granted membership and participation on GOL’s Alliance Committee and any other board committees related to the operational partnership between GOL and American’.

Furthermore, American will invest US$200 million in 22.2 million newly issued preferred shares of GOL in a capital increase, for a 5.2% participation in the Company’s economic interest.

Meanwhile, American Airlines recently increased frequency of flights to New Delhi before launch later this year. The airline has partnered with Vertical Aerospace for EVTOL aircrafts. Also, the Dallas-based carrier has announced 14 new routes out of Austin. The carrier is expanding in the Caribbean by launching flights to Dominica and Anguilla from Miami and has partnered with TikTok to provide free inflight access. American recently upgraded New Delhi flights and has postponed the launch of Seattle-Bengaluru and Dallas-Tel Aviv routes to January 2022.

Featured image by American Airlines

What do you think of American Airlines investing in GOL? Let me know in the comments section below.

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