American Airlines Increases Flights To Santiago & Sao Paulo

Filed Under: American

In late September it was announced that Delta is buying a 20% stake in LATAM, which has huge implications for the industry. American and LATAM had been pursuing a joint venture, so to see Delta invest and now pursue a joint venture with LATAM surprised many.

Delta bought a 20% stake in LATAM

This also puts American’s position in Latin America at risk. While they’re by far the biggest US carrier in Latin America, their real dominance came from their partnership with LATAM, which is one of the largest airlines in the region.

American’s Competitive Response To LATAM

Not surprisingly, we’ve seen American do what they can to respond to the situation. Just days after Delta’s intentions with LATAM were made clear, American announced that they’d increase service to Lima, Santiago, and Sao Paulo, which are LATAM’s hubs.

At the time it was announced that:

  • American will increase service from Miami to Lima as of April 7, 2020; the airline currently flies 2x daily, and will fly 3x daily with 757s when they add this new service
  • American will increase service from Miami to Santiago as of winter 2020; the airline will offer a total of 2x daily flights, with the new flight being operated by a 777-200
  • American will increase service from Miami to Sao Paulo as of winter 2020; the airline will offer a total of 3x daily flights, with the new flight being operated by a 777-200

New American Santiago & Sao Paulo Flights

While American’s new flight to Lima was immediately bookable, the new flights to Santiago and Sao Paulo weren’t, since they were only scheduled to launch in winter 2020. Now that we’re less than a year from that happening, American has scheduled these new services.

Miami to Santiago Goes 2x Daily

As of October 25, 2020, the Miami to Santiago routes goes from once daily to twice daily. As of that date the following frequencies will be operated:

AA228 Miami to Santiago departing 7:55PM arriving 6:06AM (+1 day)
AA957 Miami to Santiago departing 11:05PM arriving 9:16AM (+1 day)

AA226 Santiago to Miami departing 12:01AM arriving 6:25AM
AA912 Santiago to Miami departing 10:05PM arriving 4:29AM (+1 day)

Both frequencies will be operated by 777-200s.

American 777-200

Miami to Sao Paulo Goes 3x Daily

As of October 25, 2020, the Miami to Sao Paulo routes goes from twice daily to three times daily (I can’t bring myself to use the word “thrice,” sorry). As of that date the following frequencies will be operated:

AA929 Miami to Sao Paulo departing 7:40PM arriving 6:20AM (+1 day)
AA498 Miami to Sao Paulo departing 9:35PM arriving 8:15AM (+1 day)
AA995 Miami to Sao Paulo departing 11:00PM arriving 9:35AM (+1 day)

AA906 Sao Paulo to Miami departing 12:10AM arriving 6:25AM
AA2660 Sao Paulo to Miami departing 11:05AM arriving 5:20PM
AA930 Sao Paulo to Miami departing 10:30PM arriving 5:00AM (+1 day)

The AA995/930 frequency will be operated by a 777-300, while the other two frequencies will be operated by 777-200s.

American 777-300ER first class

Bottom Line

It’s nice to see American actually follow through with this growth to South America.

LATAM has matched American’s service increase from Lima to Miami, so it will be interesting to see if they match the growth on the Santiago and Sao Paulo routes as well.

Obviously there’s a battle for market share here, though one has to wonder just how sustainable this growth is.

  1. I’m very happy about it, being based in GRU.

    I’m just a bit disappointed that the extra frequency from Miami is an additional redeye. When AA announced a third frequency, I was expecting/hoping AA would bring back their MIA-GRU frequency leaving MIA in the morning.

    Still, this is great news.

  2. I don’t understand how AA’s management is are perfectly okay with

    2x 777-200 sitting in Santiago
    1x 777-200 sitting in GRU
    1x 777-300 sitting in GRU

    For 12+ hours each day.

    Surely a day flight could work in these locations and help optimize revenue? or maybe even a 5th freedom flight

  3. As long as American keeps their routes that Delta doesnt fly to, they will still easily beat Delta in SA Service. Delta would actually have to launch flights to Cordoba, Montevideo, Brasilia, Cali, Georgetown, and others and compete head to head with American.

  4. High yield business passengers prefer red-eye flights on these South America routes. Yields on daylight flights are terrible. 5th freedom routes are limited by the bilateral aviation agreement with these countries and the economics are usually terrible, just look at Tokyo losing all of its 5th freedom routes by US carriers. Also, while they are sitting during the day in GRU, AA opened a maintenance facility to work on the 5 777s to make better use of that time.

  5. @Steven — what’s interesting is that AA could even operate domestic flights in Brazil, as there is no longer any restriction to the foreign ownership of airlines in the country.

    So, (theoretically) AA could operate MIA-GRU-GIG, or MIA-GRU-CWB, MIA-GRU-POA, etc., and even sell the domestic leg as a domestic 5th freedom.

    I have no idea if this would make sense from a revenue management, but legally it could be done.

  6. Some of these need to be added to DFW. A lot of smaller west coast markets can’t get to MIA direct on AA….

  7. Yet AA altogether pulled their flights to Bolivia (VVI and LPB). I hope Delta can start direct flights there from Georgia.

  8. @Steven That’s why AA tried to do line maintenance in South America, but the mechanics union said they would lose American jobs, so that got 86’ed.

    Where are you expecting these 5th freedoms to go to in a 777 aircraft?

  9. @Ricardo Basing down there as well for parts of the year and I am with you. Makes little sense they made all the flights a redeye from Miami. Seems to be better aircraft utilization in turning around at GRU as well. I guess it may come from the fact that during parts of the year it would need to leave MIA early (Like LATAM) at around 7AM. That means no feeder traffic from anywhere for connections.

    At least we have the day flight FROM GRU coming back.

  10. Clicked the link to this page hoping (with no reason to believe) that some of the added frequency would have been to JFK. oh well.

  11. “ While they’re by far the biggest US carrier in Latin America, their real dominance came from their partnership with LATAM, which is one of the largest airlines in the region.”

    AA was dominant long before little Chilean LAN became LATAM. The dominance is due to the Miami hub, not LATAM.

    You’re clear in your dislike for AA even though you constantly fly them in Miami or elsewhere but have a bite of reality at times.

  12. Would have liked something from JFK, ORD, DFW, or (know this is a complete dream) CLT.

    Still the big issue is a lack of connections in South America – hard to get to a place like Recife without the onward connections from LATAM.

  13. Selfishly seeing the 772 MIA JFK is being removed from the 2020 schedule 🙁
    It was a joy going back and forth on the larger bird. Now I see the (one) 767 and rest are 738s / 757s narrow bodies.
    Guess they are moving the 772 to SA.

  14. @dn10. ORD-GRU was announced a few years back by AA, but never materialized. This route is currently served by a daily UA flight.

    US flew CLT-GRU before the merger with AA.

  15. I still hope Delta will offer their new suites LAX-GRU to compete with American, the prices at $6-$8k for biz are absurd as theyre the only airline with a direct flight to LA from Sampa

  16. They will not be able to compete in the Miami-Lima route with a 757 and remove their existing 767 service.

    Latam flies the 787-9 and the 767-300 to Lima, meanwhile Delta flies the 767-400.
    Both airlines are far superior than AA (in aircraft, seats (economy & business), catering, inflight entertainment and both ground/in-flight service.

    Additionally, Delta waives the EQD requirement for non US-residents.
    Latam will probably match Delta’s FFP.
    AA doesn’t waive this.

  17. This isn’t new flying. AA has operated the second daily Santiago flight off and on for at least 20 years, and has flown to São Paulo up to 4 times a day.

  18. AA in São Paulo said, “Miami is nice. So let’s go there thrice.” Miami is nice. Miami is nice. Miami is nice.

  19. Would love to see some sort of direct service to South America from ord on AA. I fly for work to São Paulo. I don’t mind the one stop in Dallas but am surprised that demand doesn’t exist for one direct Flight to South America from ord. Eg sao Paolo or Buenos Aires. The direct United flight is always expensive and reasonably full.

  20. @mick, AA has flown ORD-EZE in the mid-2000s for a brief time. It didn’t work. UA has also tried it and it also did not work. Unlikely AA will start ORD-GRU. The market is sufficiently served by the long standing UA route.

  21. Would love to see daytime flights instead of new redeyes. Who decided any of these flights (especially shorter ones to Lima) needed to be redeyes in the first place? Annoying as hell.

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