Delta Air Lines and
Gol this week entered into an "exclusive" commercial arrangement that
would make Delta the sole U.S.-based codeshare partner for Gol and terminate
the Brazilian carrier's codeshare and reciprocal frequent-flyer deal with
likely comes as a surprise to American, which in a statement provided yesterday
indicated that it was "not aware of any changes that today’s announcement
will make" to its relationship with Gol.
Gol this morning
confirmed the agreement means "exclusivity with Delta in the U.S.-Brazil
corridor," adding that its deal with American "is valid until the
second half of 2012."
The Delta deal
should be enacted within a few months, a Delta spokesman noted, pending some
regulatory approvals from Brazil. The agreement, which includes a $100 million
investment in Gol, is less than an antitrust-immune joint venture, through
which carriers share revenues and jointly set pricing. However, the partnership
does enable closer cooperation between the carriers and provides some new benefits
to customers of each.
As part of the
Delta-Gol deal, "corporate discounts now apply to all Delta-marketed
flights operated by Gol," according to a Delta spokesman.
Delta and Gol also
would more closely align loyalty programs, give premium and elite passengers
reciprocal access to airport lounges and offer "co-located airport
facilities for easier passenger connections and check-in."
The carriers as part
of the deal expanded a codeshare agreement announced last year to "include
Gol's code on Delta flights between the U.S. and Brazil, as well as flights
within the carriers' domestic networks and to other key international
also gains a seat on Gol's board of directors.
will leverage the extended, long-term commercial agreement to exchange, pending
regulatory approvals, best practices across operations, marketing and
sales," according to a Delta statement.