Brazil's Gol To Ditch AA, Signs Pact With Delta - Business Travel News

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Brazil's Gol To Ditch AA, Signs Pact With Delta

December 08, 2011 - 01:50 PM ET

By Jay Boehmer

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 American Airlines.

The arrangement 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 destinations."

Delta, meanwhile, also gains a seat on Gol's board of directors.

"The carriers 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. 

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