Report: American in talks with GOL for Latin American partnership

Oct 11, 2019

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If airlines placed personals ads, American Airlines’ might sound something like: World’s (former) largest airline seeks partner with strong Latin American roots.

That’s because American reportedly is seeking a new ally in the Southern Hemisphere in the ongoing fallout from last month’s surprise news that Delta was acquiring a 20 percent stake in former AA partner LATAM Airlines.

According to Reuters, Brazil’s Valor Economico newspaper first reported that American is in negotiations with Brazilian carrier GOL for a “partnership” on at least some Latin American flights.

GOL is a major competitor to LATAM, especially in Brazil.

Related: Snapshot: A look at American Airlines by the numbers

American acknowledged the talks, but said there are no developments to report.

“We’re always talking to potential partners as we’re continuing to grow our network,” said American Airlines spokeswoman Nichelle Tait. “This is business as usual.”

She also noted that American already has an interline agreement in place with GOL, and that airlines regularly look for ways to maximize benefits from all their partnerships.

For American, the loss of its partnership with Chile-based LATAM is a major setback for it in the South American market.

If American does ultimately strike a deal with GOL, the move would help it in the Brazilian market. But GOL would not come close to replacing the regional scale offered by outgoing partner LATAM, which is by far South America’s largest carrier. It has a dominant presence in several markets, including in Chile, Brazil and Peru.  GOL flies to several countries in South America and to the U.S. and the Caribbean, but its route network is heavily focused on the domestic Brazilian market.

Featured photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

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