Late last year it was announced that Delta would be investing in LATAM, causing LATAM to cut ties with American. Latin America is one market where American has historically been dominant, so they’re now having to rethink their whole strategy.
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American & GOL launch codeshare agreement
American Airlines and Brazil’s GOL have today announced their intention to launch a reciprocal codeshare agreement. If approved, this would allow American Airlines customers to connect to 53 GOL flights beyond Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Manaus, and Fortaleza.
This relationship would also allow reciprocal frequent flyer mileage earning and redemption opportunities, as well as some other reciprocal benefits, which are anticipated in the first half of 2020. We don’t have all of the details of that yet.
American Airlines expands Miami flying
Not only is American launching a codeshare agreement with GOL, but they’re also expanding service in Miami.
American already announced a few months back that they’re adding flights from Miami to Lima, Santiago, and Sao Paulo.
New Miami to Rio de Janeiro frequency
Now American has announced that they’ll add a second daily Miami to Rio de Janeiro flight this coming winter (January 7 through March 28, 2021), which will also be one of the first Miami routes to be operated by a 787.
12 additional domestic flights
On top of the new international flight, in the summer of 2020 American is adding an additional dozen daily flights from Miami to six US destinations, including:
- One extra daily frequency to Nashville using a 737-800
- One extra daily frequency to Boston using a 737-800
- One extra daily frequency to Houston using a 737-800
- Five extra daily frequencies to Orlando, using a combination of 737-800s, 757-200s, and A319s
- Two extra daily frequencies to Raleigh-Durham, using a combination of 737-800s and A319s
- Two extra daily frequencies to Tampa, using a combination of 737-800s and A319s
This seems to be a pretty direct response to Delta’s recent expansion in Miami, as the airline announced new routes to Orlando, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, and Tampa.
It’s funny how this all works…
It’s kind of funny when you step back and look at how this has all unfolded:
- American Airlines had a partnership with GOL until 2012
- Delta bought a stake in GOL in 2011, causing GOL to cut ties with American
- Then Delta dumped their stake in GOL in late 2019 after they bought a stake in LATAM, leaving GOL on the market
- Now American and GOL will partner once again
Ultimately an agreement with GOL is better than nothing, but this is hardly a substitute for the loss of LATAM. GOL is Brazil’s largest airline, though they only operate 737s and don’t have a proper business class, so this isn’t going to be the most attractive option out there for many premium passengers.
It’s nice to see American Airlines expanding Miami flying in response to Delta’s expansion in Miami. The new codeshare agreement with GOL is cool as well, though frankly it’s hard for me to get excited about it, especially when LATAM is being lost.
LATAM is a global airline with hubs all over Latin America and flat bed business class, while GOL is essentially a regional low cost carrier.
What do you make of the new American & GOL partnership?