US-based American Airlines, which offers more flights to Brazil than any other US airline, has entered into a frequent flyer agreement with Brazilian airline Gol Airlines that will provide benefits to members of both American's AAdvantage and Gol's Smiles programs.
The two airlines also intend to enter into a codeshare agreement in the near future.
The frequent flyer participation agreement will expand the opportunities to earn and redeem miles to new destinations for the more than 62 million members of American's AAdvantage program and the 6 million members of Gol's Smiles program.
Beginning August 1st, 2009, AAdvantage and Smiles members will be able to earn miles on all eligible Gol and American flights. Then, beginning in Fall 2009, AAdvantage and Smiles members will be able to redeem their miles for travel on Gol and American flights worldwide.
AAdvantage members will be able to earn double miles when flying on eligible Gol flights between August 1st and October 31st, 2009.
The codeshare agreement between American and Gol, which is planned for later this year, should make it easier to travel to and from points in Brazil not served by American. With its service to five major Brazilian cities from the United States, combined with Gol's flights to 49 destinations within that country, American says that it will be able to offer a level of accessibility to and from Brazil unequalled by any other airline.
"American's new frequent flyer and codeshare agreements with Gol significantly increase the flexibility, in terms of flight schedule and price, available to our passengers," said Peter J. Dolara, American's Senior Vice President – Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. "Our customers traveling to and from Brazil will now have an unparalleled choice of destinations and schedules. We are proud to be able to connect more people throughout the world through our new arrangement with Gol."
"This agreement adds additional value for each airline's customers. With this collaboration, Gol will now offer American Airlines customers access to South America's largest route network and the continent's fastest growing airline," said Constantino de Oliveira Junior, Gol's CEO.
"Also, not only are we offering Smiles members service across the United States, but we're also providing access to destinations in all continents through a partner that offers a high-quality product."
Once the codeshare agreement is in effect, customers transferring from Gol to an American Airlines flight leaving Brazil or other points in South America will be able to check their luggage to their ultimate American Airlines destination when they check in for their Gol flight.
Similarly, customers traveling to Brazil on American and transferring to a Gol flight within Brazil or elsewhere in South America can purchase a single ticket for their journey, rather than multiple tickets, and check their luggage to their final destination. As always, customers will still have to clear US and Brazilian customs upon arrival.
American and Gol also offer interline fares for both Premium Class and Economy Class travel. Interline tickets for travel between American and Gol can be purchased through AA and its appointed agencies around the world, using electronic ticketing.
American serves five destinations in Brazil from Miami International Airport, New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, while Gol operates nearly 800 daily flights to 49 destinations connecting the most important cities in Brazil and nine major destinations in South America.
American has expanded its service levels to Brazil in recent months, adding both flight frequencies and new destinations to its worldwide network. In November 2008, American began service from its Miami hub to Belo Horizonte, Recife and Salvador. In all, American offers 58 weekly flights to and from Brazil.
Following is a summary of American's US – Brazil routes, including the new destinations that began in November 2008:
American Airlines Brazil Service Summary
São Paulo – Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York JFK
Rio de Janeiro – Miami
Belo Horizonte – Miami
Recife – Miami
Salvador – Miami
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft.
Gol operates a fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft.Â The Company's service includes the Gol and VARIG brands.
Available in over 200 countries with over 6 million participants, Smiles is Gol's customer relationship program. Through the program, customers accumulate miles every time they fly on Gol, VARIG and airline partners, or when they purchase services and products from the program's 150 non-air partners.