Star Alliance members Continental Airlines and TAM Airlines begin codesharing on routes within Brazil, within the United States and between Brazil and the U.S....

Star Alliance members Continental Airlines and TAM Airlines begin codesharing on routes within Brazil, within the United States and between Brazil and the U.S. on July 1.

This cooperation builds on the reciprocal frequent flyer program agreement signed on April 6 between Continental Airlines and TAM and supports Continental’s growth in the Brazilian market, according to the U.S. carrier.

“Codesharing between Continental and TAM Airlines improves the link we established between the two airlines before TAM joined Star Alliance,” says John Slater, Continental’s staff vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We look forward to growing our relationship with TAM in the near future.”

“We are expanding our international network through this new stage of our partnership with Continental. Through the agreement, we are able to offer more convenience and better services to our customers,” says Paulo Castello Branco, TAM Airlines’ commercial and planning vice president.

Continental Airlines' huge, all-Boeing fleet includes 16 long-haul 767-400ERs (one is pictured here), as well as 20 777-200ERs, 10 767-200ERs and 41 757-200ERs. Each of Continental's 767-400ERs is configured to seat 35 in Business First and 200 in economy-class

Continental will add its ‘CO’ flight prefix to TAM’s international flights linking Sao Paulo with Orlando, Miami and New York JFK; Rio de Janeiro with Miami and New York JFK; and Manaus with Miami.

The U.S. airline will also add its code to TAM’s intra-Brazil flights between Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, Recife, Salvador and Vitoria; and between Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Campo Grande, Curitiba, Florianopolis, Foz do Iguaçu (Iguaçu Falls), Porto Alegre, Recife and Salvador.

Meanwhile, TAM will add its ‘JJ’ flight prefix to Continental Airlines’ international flights linking Houston with Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. TAM’s code will also appear on Continental’s U.S. domestic flights linking Houston with Miami and Orlando and Cleveland with Miami and Orlando.

Continental Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline even before its planned merger with United Airlines, which would make the merged airlines the world’s largest airline. Together with its regional-airline partners in Continental Express and Continental Connection, Continental has more than 2,700 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 132 domestic and 137 international destinations. With more than 40,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.

TAM Airlines has led the Brazilian domestic market since July 2003 and has ended the month of May with a 40.9 per cent market share. The carrier flies to 43 destinations in Brazil itself and including business agreements signed with regional carriers serves 87 different destinations within Brazil.

Star Alliance member TAM says its market share among Brazilian airlines operating international flights was 87.9 per cent in May. International flights include direct flights to 18 destinations in the United States, Europe and South America: New York, Miami and Orlando (U.S.A.), Paris (France), London (England), Milan (Italy), Frankfurt (Germany), Madrid (Spain), Buenos Aires (Argentina), La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia), Santiago (Chile), Asuncion and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), Montevideo (Uruguay), Caracas (Venezuela) and Lima (Peru).

TAM also has codeshare agreements on other carriers to another 78 destinations in the U.S.A., South America, Europe and Asia. TAM’s Fidelidade frequent flyer program now has 6.9 million members and has already distributed 10.6 million air tickets through point redemption.

Overall, Star Alliance offers more than 21,050 daily flights to 1,167 airports in 181 countries through its 27 member airlines.