American has finally announced its codeshare partnership with Brazil’s largest airline, Gol. The partnership is a competitive response to Delta’s moves to undermine American’s dominance between North America and Latin America. American also announced an increase of domestic service to Miami and an additional frequency to Brazil.
Delta shook the aviation world last year with the news that they would make a $1.9 billion investment in American’s erstwhile partner, LATAM, causing them to leave the Oneworld alliance and end codeshares with American. Since then, it’s been more or less expected that American would partner with Gol in Brazil.
Gol is the largest airline in Brazil and gives American much-needed connectivity in South America’s largest economy. While expected, we haven’t had details until now.
American and Gol’s new partnership will allow American customers to connect to 53 Gol flights from Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Sao Paulo (GRU), Brasilia (BSB), Manaus (MAO) and Fortaleza (FOR).
New codeshare destinations for American Airlines not currently served include Paraguay (ASU); Curitiba, Brazil (CWB) and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (IGU). American will also place Gol’s code on select flights.
Starting in the first half of 2020, American and Gol will also offer frequent flyer redemption and accrual.
According to Eduardo Bernandes, vice president at Gol: “GOL and American Airlines will now offer the most convenient flights between South America and the United States. We have strengthened our presence in major airports to better serve our customers. The codeshare partnership will soon increase to more than 30 destinations in the U.S.”
Gol is a hybrid carrier concentrated in Brazil. While it doesn’t replace LATAM’s international network, the quality of its domestic services is, if anything, superior to LATAM. Neither carrier has premium domestic services, but Gol does offer in-flight internet on most of its flights and extra-legroom seats. Gol also operates (mediocre) domestic lounges while LATAM has no domestic lounges.
Second Daily Miami-Rio de Janeiro Flight
Starting this winter, American Airlines will offer a second daily frequency between Miami and Rio de Janeiro (GIG). The new daily flight will operate during the peak winter season from January 7 through March 28.
Operated on American’s excellent Boeing 787-8 aircraft, it will add several hundred additional seats a day between Miami and Rio. The new flight will easily allow customers to easily connect to Gol services there. This is in addition to more flights announced by American in September to Lima, Santiago, and Sao Paulo.
Miami Domestic Expansion
New Miami Delta Flights
Following its partnership with LATAM, Delta needed to provide its new partner with connectivity in Latin America’s unofficial capital. Delta previously announced new services to four destinations from Miami starting in May.
- 5x daily flights to Orlando (Embraer 175)
- 5x daily flights to Tampa (Embraer 175)
- 1x daily flights to Raleigh Durham (Embraer 175)
- 1x daily flights to Salt Lake City (737-800)
These new flights brought Delta’s number of daily nonstop destinations from Miami to 10 (plus its flight to Havana, Cuba).
American New Domestic Miami Flights
American Airlines isn’t taking Delta’s moves against its Miami hub lying down. American today announced that it will add additional frequencies from Miami to six domestic destinations. Notably, they include 3 of the 4 new destinations recently announced by Delta.
- 5x daily flights to Orlando (737-800/757-200/A319)
- 2x daily flights to Tampa(737-800/A319)
- 2x daily flights to Raleigh-Durham(737-800/A319)
- 1x daily flights to Nashville(737-800)
- 1x daily flights to Boston (737-800)
- 1x daily flights to Houston (737-800)
With 12 more year-round, daily domestic frequencies, this shows American will not easily allow Delta to gain ground in the key Miami market.
The agreement with Gol helps take some of the sting of losing LATAM away for American. While LATAM is South America’s leading carrier, Gol is the largest in South America’s leading economy. It doesn’t replace LATAM’s hubs in Chile or secondary markets like Peru, Argentina, and Colombia, but Gol is a good start and allows American to maintain connectivity for some of its key South American routes.
Meanwhile, American’s new routes will ensure that the airline can offer the most convenient connections for most passengers meeting Delta’s challenge in its crucial Miami hub to Latin America.
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