GOL Linhas Aereas, more commonly known as GOL, will see the end of its partnership with Delta Air Lines. This move comes as Delta has invested in South American giant, LATAM. Since LATAM has a much larger footprint on the continent, it makes sense for Delta to terminate their partnership with GOL. For the Brazilian low-cost carrier, however, this could mean the end of other lucrative partnerships.
Delta ends partnership with GOL
GOL released a statement on the end of this partnership. In it, the airline dismissed any negative consequences of this termination. Much like American’s statement after LATAM announced a partnership with Delta Air Lines, GOL downplayed the effects of losing a partner.
In terms of revenue, the relationship provided only about 0.3% of GOL’s total revenues. This likely came from connecting passengers. However, Delta does not have much of a connection system in place in Sao Paulo and recently ended their flight to the Brazilian hub from Detroit.
Delta to divest from GOL
Delta invested in the airline and received a seat on the Board of Directors. Their 9% stake will be phased out. However, GOL was not a perfect fit for the Atlanta-based carrier.
Delta is a well-renowned full-service carrier with a proper business class. On the other hand, GOL is a low-cost carrier. This makes it hard to imagine that a passenger purchasing a Delta One ticket to Sao Paulo would want to connect to a GOL premium economy flight which would lack the amenities of business class.
GOL did not fly to any of Delta’s hubs. In fact, to the United States, the airline offered connections to Delta via Miami and Orlando. As these are not Delta hubs, this did not add many benefits to passengers who would likely be routed from Miami or Orlando via Atlanta which would add another stop on the journey.
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Are Air France-KLM and Aeromexico next?
Air France-KLM and Aeromexico also have partnerships with GOL. However, Delta has significant sway over all three airlines. As a result, it is possible that these three airlines could also terminate their partnerships with GOL in favor of a more wide-reaching partnership with LATAM. Since GOL does not fly to Europe due to the lack of range on their aircraft, it is likely that the end of a partnership with GOL would not significantly impact operations on either end.
However, it would still be a blow to GOL to lose four major partners. Time will tell if the end of their partnership with Delta will lead to any significant consequences.
What do you think about this? Does GOL need to find an American partner? Let us know in the comments!