Brazil and Portugal Leading Airlines Share Code and Air Miles Program

Brazilian Airline TAM The Brazilian and the Portuguese leading airlines, TAM and TAP respectively, announced that they are entering into an agreement for code-sharing and linking their air miles program. The comprehensive alliance  comprises several areas, and according to a TAM press release both airline companies will take advantage of the synergies arising  from their respective networks, products and services in the routes  connecting Brazil and Portugal.

The code sharing will be implemented by July and should translate into a significant increase of  flight options for passengers, as well as into the linkage of the companies'  mileage programs, TAM's Fidelidade and TAP's Victoria.

The agreement stipulates that TAM will be allowed to sell tickets for TAP flights in Brazil and Portugal. On the other hand, the Portuguese company will sell tickets for TAM flights not only in Brazil but to all of South America.

For TAM, the agreement will allow the commercialization of TAP's  flights operated between Brazil and Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, Faro and  Funchal), strengthening TAM's position in the international market with  European Leisure passengers traveling mainly to the northeastern Brazil.

On  the other hand, for TAP, it will involve domestic destinations operated  by TAM to several Brazilian capitals and cities such as Belém, Manaus,  São Luiz, Ilhéus, Porto Seguro, Campo Grande, Cuiabá, Aracaju, Vitória,  Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Goiânia, Florianópolis, João Pessoa, Maceió,  Navegantes, Porto Alegre and Foz do Iguaçu, among others, in addition  to cities in South America (Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago,  Chile).

TAM and TAP also intend to extend cooperation to other international  routes operated by both companies from their hubs, subject to the  authorization of the involved countries.

"This agreement is key for TAP, given the dimension of the Brazilian  market and TAM's remarkable position in it. From now on, TAP will count  on a local partner with one of the largest service networks, both  domestically and internationally, adding a great number of destination  options with an irrefutable level of reliability and service quality, which  will certainly bring great benefits to TAP's clients, who will also be  able to accumulate and use miles in TAM's network," states Fernando  Pinto, CEO of TAP.

Marco Antonio Bologna, TAM's CEO, says that the code share will  convert into benefits for passengers. "With TAP, the leading airline in  Portugal and with over 60 years of experience, we are going to offer new  flight options in the international market and another important entry  into Europe, for both the tourism and business markets".

Mr. Bologna  also highlights that TAP has a relevant role to play regarding the growth  of the Brazilian tourism market: "TAM will now have conditions to boost  the number of passengers transported to Brazil, and distribute them to  several cities within the country, with the advantage of the  interconnection of both companies' loyalty programs", he says.

TAM (Transportes Aéreos Mercosul, but originally Taxi Aéreo de Marí­lia) has been the Brazilian domestic market  leader since July 2003, and ended last March with a 51.72% market share.  The company flies to 48 destinations throughout Brazil. With the  commercial agreements executed with regional companies, it reaches 75  different destinations in Brazil.

In March, TAM's international market share  was 62.86% among Brazilian airline companies. International operations  include direct flights to seven destinations: New York and Miami (USA),  Paris (France), London (England), Milan (Italy), Buenos Aires  (Argentina) and Santiago (Chile). With TAM Mercosur, it flies to seven other  destinations: Asuncion and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), Cordoba (Argentina),  Montevideo (Uruguay), Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Cochabamba (Bolivia). 

The company also offers daily flights to Lima, Peru, operated in  code-share with TACA. Besides, it keeps commercial agreements with  international companies that allow passengers to fly to a wide variety of  destinations worldwide.

TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) is the Portuguese airline market leader, established in 1945 and a  member of the Star Alliance since 2005. Its Hub in Lisbon is a  privileged access platform to Europe, at the crossroads with Africa and North  and South America, where TAP stands out as the leading European airline  operating to Brazil. State-owned, the airline is set to be privatized later this year.

Currently, it is the airline with the most flights  from Brazil to Europe, departing from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,  Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza, and Natal. Starting in July, TAP will also have  five additional weekly flights departing from Brasí­lia to Lisbon,  reaching a total of 60 weekly flights.

TAP also enjoys a wide  destination network both in Europe (where it reaches 31 cities in 16  countries) and in Africa (where it services the countries where Portuguese  as the official language, besides Senegal and South Africa, totaling  seven countries).

In 2006, the Company's airplanes transported over 6.8  million passengers, of which 845 thousand flew to Brazil.

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