Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Brazil’s largest airline, is holding talks about expanding ties with American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. after parting ways with longtime U.S. partner Delta Air Lines Inc.
The carriers are discussing whether to establish codeshare deals, which enable airlines to book passengers on each other’s flights, Gol Chief Financial Officer Richard Lark said Tuesday. That would be a step up from Gol’s existing interline agreements with American and United, which allow airlines to handle passengers on trips that involve multiple carriers.
“We are in discussions with both United and American about converting those interlines into codeshares, and we may have both of those as codeshare partners,” Lark said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. An agreement could be reached with one or both of the U.S. airlines “over the next couple of months,” he said.
Gol is eyeing deeper ties with American and United after Delta said in September that it would sell its stake in the Brazilian airline and buy 20% of Latam Airlines Group SA. An expanded relationship with Gol would be especially beneficial to American, which was left without a South American partner after its proposed partnership with Latam ran into legal trouble and prompted the Chilean company to join forces with Delta.
United already has a partnership with Azul SA, the third-largest domestic airline in Brazil after Gol and Latam. United holds an 8% stake in Azul and is is also in talks to form a joint venture with Avianca Holdings SA and Copa Holdings SA.
American said it didn’t have “anything to confirm at this time.” United declined to comment.
Delta has not indicated when or how it intends to sell its Gol stock, Lark said. The U.S. carrier owns a 9% stake, according to Gol. The Sao Paulo-based company isn’t discussing deals in which American or United would take equity stakes in Gol, he said…
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