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American announced today that they are growing their South America footprint, by adding three new routes in late 2013:
Dallas to Bogota (BOG)
Miami to Curitiba, Brazil (CWB)
Miami to Porto Alegre, Brazil (POA)
American also announced new codeshare partnerships with TAM Airlines and LAN Colombia, which means they will file with the U.S.Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking codeshare authority. LAN (oneworld) recently took over TAM (Star Alliance), so this signals to me that the new combined carrier will likely be staying in oneworld.
While this isn’t the most earth shattering news, it is impressive that American continues to add international destinations (like the last announcement of Seoul, Dusseldorf and Dublin) and continue with their domestic and international fleet overhaul, even though they are in the throes of bankruptcy and a possible merger with another airline. I think this signals that American management is still doing everything they can to turn the business around and emerge as a single carrier. Clearly that isn’t going to happen overnight, but it seems like they are definitely taking the long-term approach of increasing their global footprint and improving their product (which is currently way behind most of their competitors). From my perspective, more destinations and partnerships = more options when redeeming my miles, so I hope American is able to fully execute on these plans and emerge from bankruptcy as a standalone carrier.