Brazil’s Banco Bradesco speculated today that American travelers hoping to visit Brazil may get to see some additional competition for what has traditionally been a market dominated by American Airlines. Brazil’s second largest airline, GOL Airlines, has seen its stock tank over 90% in the past year as a result of the ongoing economic issues in Brazil. As a result, Banco Bradesco indicated that Delta Airlines may be interested in buying a larger stake in the struggling airline, or possibly even the entire airline!
This hypothesis was generated because Delta had previously bought a 3% stake in GOL Airlines in 2011, and has been adding to their shareholdings over the past 4 years. Currently, Delta Airlines owns 9% of GOL Airlines, with the falling GOL Airlines stock presenting an opportunity to acquire more of an airline that would permit Delta to expand on their Brazilian services. GOL Airlines commands a fleet of 144 Boeing 737 aircraft. Though any such deal would likely not occur in time for travelers to the 2016 Olympics to benefit, it would be interesting to consider how much lower fares on routes from the United States to Brazil could get if American Airlines faced another competitor.