Delta Air Lines and Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes have launched an agreement to offer members of Delta’s SkyMiles and GOL’s SMILES frequent flyer programs the ability to earn miles on all flights operated by each carrier.
The two airlines began allowing members to earn mileage points on either airline on July 6 and mileage-redemption benefits are due to begin during the second half of 2010.
“This new agreement will offer SkyMiles members the opportunity to earn mileage on eligible GOL flights, increasing their ability to redeem miles for upgrades, award travel tickets and other awards,” says Luiz Teixeira, regional manager of sales for Delta Air Lines in Brazil.
“With this agreement, SMILES will become even more attractive to passengers traveling to North America and Asia. We are offering our clients the opportunity to earn miles and issue tickets with Delta, one of the largest airlines in the world. On the other hand, GOL will offer SkyMiles members 62 destinations in Brazil, South America and the Caribbean,” says Marcelo Bento, yield and alliances director for GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes.
Delta and GOL recently filed requests with the governments of the United States and Brazil for authorization to implement a codeshare agreement. If approved, the agreement would provide Delta and GOL customers with improved access beyond the carriers’ respective hubs by allowing Delta to place its code on flights to more than 40 GOL markets departing from Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to other cities throughout Brazil.
The codeshare agreement would also cover GOL flights between Brazil and Paraguay and Uruguay, subject to the two airlines receiving approvals from the governments of those countries.
Delta’s SkyMiles program has more than 140 worldwide partners with more than 81 million members worldwide and is among the longest-running loyalty programs in the travel industry. The SkyMiles program offers members multiple mileage-earning opportunities when flying Delta, Delta Shuttle, the Delta Connection carriers, Delta AirElite and all SkyTeam member airlines. For more information, visit delta.com/skymiles.
Last year, frequent fliers redeemed more than 230 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 11 million award redemptions. In 2009, 8.5 per cent of revenue miles flown on Delta were for award travel.
GOL’s SMILES program has more than 6.8 million participants and offers members the chance to obtain upgrades, providing them with benefits such as differentiated service at check-in, extra baggage allowances, access to SMILES VIP lounges, and an exclusive customer-service center. For more information, visit smiles.com.br.
Delta offers 30 nonstop weekly flights between the United States and Brazil. Its flights include service between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Manaus; and service between New York-JFK and Sao Paulo. In October, Delta will begin service between Sao Paulo and Detroit.