American Airlines has long positioned itself as the United States’ leading carrier to South America. However, that position suffered a severe blow two years ago when fellow Oneworld Alliance partner LATAM switched allegiance to Delta Air Lines after a partial buy-out. Now, American is stepping up its South American partnerships with a new investment in Brazil’s largest carrier, GOL.
American Airlines Purchases Stake in GOL, Increasing Presence in South America
American already had a codeshare agreement with Gol since last year. Now that partnership is evolving, with AA announcing a 5.2% stake in the company – including $200 million in investment. The enhanced investment is designed to offer a more seamless travel experience flyers, with increased access to more than 63 destinations in Brazil already operated by GOL.
The enhanced partnership will also expand Gol and American Airlines’ joint loyalty offerings. These offerings are likely to include earning miles (such as AAdvantage miles) on American and GOL-operated flights, plus greater mile flexibility when booking award fares. Both airlines will also begin the rollout of reciprocal perks for elite-tier members.
“This codeshare agreement between two of the leading airlines in the Americas combines our highly complementary route networks to offer customers a seamless travel experience with the largest number of flights and destinations in North and South America,” said GOL CEO Paulo Kakinoff in a statement. “We believe that this will bolster GOL’s presence in international markets, accelerate our long-term growth, and maximize value for our shareholders. It adds to our confidence in GOL’s growth as the economy reopens and travel demand increases.”
About American Airlines
American Airlines is the world’s largest airline by several metrics – including fleet size, revenue per passenger/mile, and the number of scheduled passengers carried. The Texas-based carrier operates 6,700 flights daily to 350 cities in 50 countries worldwide, including 19 destinations in South America.
American also operates the AAdvantage frequent flyer program – the second-oldest frequent flyer program in the world. The program offers six co-branded airline credit cards with Barclays and Citi, all of which offer miles with every purchase, airline-centric perks, and more: