Gol and Delta Air Lines will build on their existing partnership, with the US carrier’s plans to invest up to $56 million more in the Brazilian airline.

“Delta Air Lines is strengthening their investment in the Brazilian domestic market and their corridor to the US,” says Edmar Lopes, chief financial officer of Gol, in a briefing today.

This will involve doing more under their existing partnership, for example more reciprocal frequent flier benefits, improved connection opportunities and additional MRO collaboration, he says.

Atlanta-based Delta previously announced new four-times weekly service between Gol’s hub at Sao Paulo Guarulhos International and Orlando International airports on a Boeing 767-300ER from 19 December. The route will complement its existing service to Atlanta, Detroit and New York John F Kennedy from Sao Paulo.

In addition, Airlineroute.net reports that Delta will replace its existing Atlanta-Brasilia flight with a four-times weekly Orlando-Brasilia flight on a Boeing 757-200 from 2 December.

The US mainline carrier was not immediately available for comment on the route change.

Delta will guarantee a new $300 million five-year loan arranged by Morgan Stanley for Gol, in addition to the increased equity stake.

Lopes says details of the loan, which will be public, will be finalised in the next two weeks.

The briefing today follows the announcement on 10 July that Gol will issue new shares to raise up to $146 million in equity. Gol’s controlling shareholder, the investment fund Volluto, will invest up to $90 million with Delta taking the balance.

Lopes says the details, including the size of Delta’s stake in Gol, will be finalised within the next 36h.

A Delta-Gol joint venture is not on the table. Lopes says it is “too early to comment” on this but adds that there is nothing in the works currently, even with US-Brazil open skies beginning on 1 October.

“When we talk about renewing the commercial agreement, down the road, the companies will look at and we will tap every single opportunity we have,” he says.

Delta executives have spoken repeatedly about deepening its bilateral relationships through equity partnerships and joint ventures with carriers around the world, including Gol. It announced plans for a joint venture with Aeromexico, which it also owns an equity stake in, earlier this year.

Delta owns a nearly 3% stake in Gol that it bought in 2011.

Source: Cirium Dashboard