American Airlines plans to invest $200 million in Brazil’s Gol as the two carriers strengthen their existing partnership.
The investment, which is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, would give American a 5.2% stake in Gol, as well as a seat on the carrier’s board.
American and Gol have partnered since early 2020. American currently puts its code on Gol flights to 22 destinations through Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, while Gol places its code on American flights to more than 30 U.S. destinations. The carriers also offer reciprocal frequent-flyer accrual and redemption.
Under the strengthened partnership, American would become Gol’s exclusive codeshare partner in the U.S. and Gol would become American’s exclusive codeshare partner in Brazil. The carriers also intend to expand the number of codeshare routes they offer. Gol serves 63 Brazilian destinations.
The deal is also set to enhance the joint loyalty program offering between American’s AAdvantage and Gol’s Smiles program. Beginning in 2022, individuals with status in either program will gain access to their elite benefits, including priority check-in, priority boarding, preferred seats, lounge access and a larger checked baggage allowance, on both airlines.
American said the agreement, if finalized and approved by regulators, would also result in more commercial cooperation between it and Gol in areas such a purchasing, sales tools and systems integration.
American seeking stake in Chile’s JetSmart
The agreement furthers the aggressive partnership strategy American has pursued since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In July, the Dallas-based carrier signed a letter of intent to take a minority stake in Chilean budget carrier JetSmart. The partnership is also to include a codeshare agreement giving American customers access to at least a portion of JetSmart’s Chile- and Argentina-focused network, as well as reciprocal loyalty point accrual and redemption.
Meanwhile, early this year, American launched an extensive partnership with JetBlue out of New York and Boston, and the carrier also enhanced its partnership with Alaska Airlines.
A stronger tie-up with Gol would also allow American to further fortify its position in South America following the 2019 decision by Latam to end its joint venture with American and instead partner with Delta.
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