American Airlines Buys Stake In Brazil’s Gol, Elite Benefits Are Coming

After American Airlines lost its pending joint venture with South American mega-carrier to Delta, they’ve been working to piece together new partnerships. They quickly partnered with Brazil’s Gol, which Delta was forced to walk away from in order to do their LATAM deal.

This morning they’ve announced a deepening of their relationship with the Brazilian airline.

  • American is investing $200 million in new preferred shares in Gol for a 5.2% “participation in the Company’s economic interest.”

  • Gol will be American’s exclusive codeshare partner in Brazil, and American will be Gol’s exclusive codeshare partner in the U.S.

  • Already offering reciprocal earn and burn, the two arilines will offer reciprocal elite recognition including priority check-in, security, and boarding, as well as checked baggage allowance, lounge access and access to preferred seats. on both airlines. They will also offer “an enhanced joint loyalty offering to give customers more ways to earn and redeem miles.”

At an investor presentation last month, American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja offered that two-thirds of American customers on South America routes (unique individuals, not enplanements) are based there and not in the U.S..

American has as high a rate of AAdvantage membership as U.S. passengers do, with a greater rate of co-brand credit card penetration. Raja suggests American’s partnership strategy is less about growing connectivity, reaching destinations and therefore customers they currently can’t serve, and more about more “rounding out the customer proposition” by selling more things like local flights to their current customers.

The Dallas-based carrier has also added a partnership with South American ultra low cost carrier Jetsmart.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Do you ever proofread or at least run a spell check prior to posting? Your sloppy writing really gets in the way of what is generally solid writing.

  2. GOL is still awful. Good luck on them actually training their employees about this partnership – it will be very much YMMV.

  3. So much for a “LATAM partnership drove less than $20 million in revenue and a joint venture without the Chilean component would have provided limited upside.” More and more it shows how bad of a deal and how blindsided they were when AA lost LATAM to Delta.

  4. Why do executives and want to be executives think they are being good communicators and sound smart when they use phrases like “rounding out the customer proposition.” What the hell does that mean? Spreak English troops!!!

  5. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see American using the taxpayer bailout money that way.

Comments are closed.