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.
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
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.