Today, the Brazilian carriers Azul Linhas Aereas and LATAM Airlines Brazil announced a codeshare agreement and a frequent flyer agreement. Both airlines described this initiative as a step to restart the economy in Brazil. But what does it mean for you as a traveler? Let’s investigate further.
How will the codeshare agreement work?
This year, LATAM Airlines Group has signed two relevant agreements. The most famous is the Joint Venture with Delta Air Lines, but back in February, LATAM signed a codeshare agreement with Malaysia Airlines. Meanwhile, Azul signed a codeshare agreement back in November, with Alitalia.
Now, both airlines signed this codeshare agreement to boost its domestic routes. Customers of both carriers will be able to connect between Azul and LATAM’s local networks in Brazil.
In a statement, the airlines said,
“The codeshare agreement will initially include 50 non-overlapping domestic routes to/from the cities of Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Porto-Alegre, Campinas, Curitiba, and Sao Paulo.”
Before the coronavirus crisis, both carriers served a total of 137 destinations in Brazil. Last year, Azul had a 27% domestic passenger share in Brazil, according to CAPA. Meanwhile, LATAM had up to 30% of the domestic passenger share, although it has lost the edge in the corporate market. Both airlines and GOL Linhas Aereas rushed to fill in the gap left by Avianca Brazil’s demise.
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What benefit will the customers have?
Jerome Cadier, LATAM Brazil CEO, said that customers would have access to two of the leading air travel networks in the country.
Last year, LATAM and Azul had 298 routes in Brazil and over 1,630 daily departures. Azul was the most significant Brazilian airline by the number of flight departures and cities served. Meanwhile, LATAM had more presence in some of the most critical hubs in Brazil, like Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia. John Rodgerson, Azul’s CEO, said,
These agreements will provide unrivaled benefits for customers. With Azul’s highly connected network that serves many destinations in Brazil and LATAM’s hubs, our complimentary fleet types and networks will offer customers the widest range of travel options. In addition, both airlines have a history and passion for customer service, and we look forward to showcasing this together.”
And what about the frequent flyer agreement?
Azul and LATAM also signed a frequent flyer agreement. It enables the members of both frequent flyer programs to earn points in the plan of their choice.
According to Azul, it has over 12 million members in TudoAzul, its frequent flyer program. Meanwhile, LATAM has over 37 million members in its LATAM Pass program.
Last month, Brazilian airlines sent a message of unity. They said that, in circumstances such as the current coronavirus pandemic, carriers must work together to fly again. With this in mind, Jerome Cadier said,
“We understand that the COVID-19 crisis requires innovative responses to help kick-start the economies of the region, and today’s announcement is part of our contribution to this effort. With Azul and LATAM’s shared customer service values and complementary route networks, we look forward to offering an industry-leading experience to customers in Brazil.”
What do you think of the codeshare agreement between LATAM and Azul? Will you benefit from it? Let us know in the comments.