Brazil's TAM Linhas Aereas and United Airlines, a founding member of the Star Alliance, signed Friday, May 18, a memorandum of understanding to develop an agreement that enables the airlines to offer code-share flights with each other and expands international destinations and frequent flyer opportunities for customers of both carriers.
The agreement will result in more options for customers traveling between Brazil and the United States and includes the implementation of codeshare on TAM and United flights, giving customers of United's Mileage Plus and TAM's Fidelidade programs the opportunity to earn and redeem miles to destinations never-before served.
TAM is the market leader in Brazil, serving 49 cities in the country, including all state capitals and the Federal District. Internationally, it serves several countries in Europe and North and South America.
United Airlines serves more than 200 destinations worldwide from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
TAM president Marco Antonio Bologna said that the agreement with United Airlines will complement TAM's international route network in the United States, providing passengers with access to United's destinations in the U.S.
"United Airlines will also offer TAM flights in the United States to its customers, and provide new connection opportunities from Brazil in Washington and Chicago – important destinations for business travelers," Bologna commented.
"We anticipate that this partnership will result in more traffic and more revenue for TAM."
"We are very pleased to sign this memorandum of understanding with TAM to expand South American destination options for our customers" said John Tague, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for United Airlines.
"TAM is a leading airline in South America with excellent service, and our complementary route networks will deliver many codeshare and frequent flyer benefits to our customers. The agreement will enable us to improve our service to customers while supporting our strategy of international growth".
However implementation of the memorandum of understanding will require execution of formal agreements and is dependent on a formal approval from the Brazilian and U.S. governments and other integrations that are expected to be in place in late 2007.
TAM has been the Brazilian domestic market leader since July 2003, and closed last April with a 50.72% market share.
United Airlines, the second-largest airline in the world (American Airlines is the champion), operates more than 3,720 daily flights on United, United Express and Ted, to more than 210 destinations from its hubs in Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver. Present in Asia, Oceania, Europe and Latin America, United is the largest international airline in the U.S.