SAO PAULO, Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty months after Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (BM&FBovespa: GOLL4 and NYSE: GOL) announced their enhanced, long-term, exclusive alliance, the companies highlight the milestones achieved. Delta and GOL leveraged the strengths of both carriers to create additional value by establishing a seamless customer experience.
The Delta and GOL commercial team accomplished its immediate objectives: (1) expand the codeshare agreement; (2) provide additional benefits to the airlines' loyal customers; and (3) offer a consistent experience at airports.
"Our strategic partnership with GOL greatly enhances Delta's network, providing access to 23 destinations in Brazil," said Ed Bastian, Delta's president and member of GOL's Board of Directors. "The codeshare will continue to expand pending regulatory approvals. Delta and GOL offer a U.S.-Brazil network unrivaled by any other U.S. flag carrier."
Currently GOL has the ability to offer its customers access to the 5 markets Delta serves between the U.S. and Brazil which are: Brasilia - Atlanta, Rio de Janeiro - Atlanta; and between Sao Paulo and Atlanta, Detroit and New York JFK. Additionally, GOL's customers from the following local markets currently have access to Atlanta and will soon have access to Detroit and JFK:
- Belo Horizonte
- Porto Alegre
The Delta-GOL codeshare agreement provides Delta customers access beyond Brazil as well, including connections to Asuncion, Paraguay and Montevideo, Uruguay.
"We are achieving our goals and this is just the beginning," said Paulo S. Kakinoff, GOL's Chief Executive Officer. "The alliance has driven significant growth in traffic, with 28 percent of all Delta customers that travel to Brazil continuing on their journey with GOL. This represents an increase of nearly 100 percent more traffic year-over-year."
As of July, GOL started to offer Delta flights on GOL's website, voegol.com, Voe GOL stores, GOL's call center and travel agents. The alliance benefits commercial customers with joint contract agreement to serve corporate customers allowing them to have a single contract for service on both carriers.
Furthermore, the airlines have initiated a joint marketing campaign to promote GOL's ability to sell Delta on their channels. As part of the joint branding efforts, customers traveling with GOL will now see the Delta logo and the phrase "in partnership with Delta" illustrated close to the boarding door of the GOL airplanes. All GOL planes will soon carry the Delta brand.
Brazil is expected to become the fourth-largest aviation market in the world by 2014, with more than 100 million passengers. The FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016 will spotlight Brazil across the world.
Airport Co-location and Customer Experience
One of the additional milestones of the alliance is the co-location of the airlines. In April, Delta moved from Terminal 1, A Wing to Terminal 2 C Wing of the Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport. For GOL and Delta customers co-location increases ease of connectivity and facilitates the process of re-checking bags after clearing customs since gol counters are located immediately after leaving the secured customs area.
"We want to offer our customers a premium check-in area, improved signage to enhance customer experience and an enhanced VIP lounge," Kakinoff said. "GOL has a significant presence in Brazil's main airports and together with Delta we will continue to provide customers a seamless experience."
The alliance set in motion a plan to increase shared benefits to Delta's and GOL's most loyal customers. Along with the ability to accrue and redeem flight awards, Delta customers now enjoy complimentary access to GOL's VIP Lounges in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International airports. Likewise, Delta Sky Clubs in Atlanta, New York-JFK and Detroit are available to SMILES Diamond members at no charge.
GOL's SMILES Diamond elite members have now access to priority check-in and boarding on Delta's flights through Delta's Sky Priority. Delta's Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members have access to the same benefits. Delta's Sky Priority is a series of distinctively branded priority airport services designed for high value customers, allowing them to move quickly through the airport.
"This is a period of rapid growth and transformation for Delta and GOL. Brazil is the leading engine for economic growth in Latin America and an increasingly popular travel destination from the U.S.," said Bastian. "These joint achievements represent furthering Delta's goal to become the best U.S. airline in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our alliance is based on shared values, leveraging strengths and learning to benefit from each other to better serve our customers."
As part a $3 billion investment in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities, Delta offers fully flat-bed seating with direct aisle access in the BusinessElite cabin on its routes from Sao Paulo to Atlanta and JFK, as well as from Rio de Janeiro to Atlanta. These flights also offer Delta's popular Economy Comfort seating in the forward section of the economy cabin. Economy Comfort offers additional legroom and 50 percent more recline compared to standard economy seats. All cabins offer in-seat audio and video on demand with a broad range of in-flight entertainment options. Delta also will introduce in-flight Wi-Fi service on international flights beginning in 2014.
About GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (BM&FBovespa: GOLL4 and NYSE: GOL), the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, offers around 970 daily flights to 65 destinations in 10 countries in South America, Caribbean and the United States under the GOL and VARIG brands, using a young, modern fleet of Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 Next Generation aircraft, the safest, most efficient and most economical of their type. The SMILES loyalty program allows members to accumulate miles and redeem tickets to more than 560 locations around the world via flights with foreign partner airlines. The Company also operates Gollog, a logistics service which retrieves and delivers cargo and packages to and from more than 3,500 cities in Brazil and eight abroad. With its portfolio of innovative products and services, GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes offers the best cost-benefit ratio in the market.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta is working to become the best U.S. airline in Latin America and the Caribbean and was just recognized with the Best Airline to North America award by Premio Destaque Companhia de Viagem, by Grupo Companhia. As part of that goal Delta has established a long-term exclusive alliance with GOL Línhas Aereas Inteligentes investing more than US $100 million in GOL. Likewise, Delta has invested more than US $65 million in Aeromexico as part of a long-term exclusive commercial alliance and entered a code sharing agreement with Aerolineas Argentinas solidifying its footprint in Latin America. Executive Travel magazine recognized Delta with the Gold Leading Edge Award for the Best Flight Experience to Mexico. Delta provides service to 28 countries and 44 destinations in the region offering more than 1,200 weekly flights between Latin America/Caribbean and the U.S. Spanish speaking Delta customers can receive real-time, on-the-go travel assistance in Spanish and Portuguese through its Twitter channels @DeltaAssist_ES and @DeltaAjuda 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Brazilian customers can also access Delta´s dedicated Brazil Facebook page visiting http://www.facebook.com/DeltaAirLinesBrasil.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2013 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list, topping the list for the second time in three years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 327 destinations in 63 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta and Facebook.com/delta.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines