American Airlines And JetSMART Want To Create A Trans-Americas Mega Network

American Airlines is eying a major expansion in the South American market. In a new plan, the carrier…

American Airlines And JetSMART Want To Create A Trans-Americas Mega Network

American Airlines is eying a major expansion in the South American market. In a new plan, the carrier will purchase a minority stake in low-cost Chilean carrier JetSMART and greatly expand offerings across the continents. The deal will allow passengers on both carriers to seamlessly travel the Americas, leveraging their respective networks. Let’s find out more.

American already serves 17 destinations in South America and is looking to extend that further. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Big move

In a statement today, American announced that it will grow its presence in the South American market through a new partner. The full-service airline will pick up a stake in JetSMART, an ultra-low-cost airline belonging to Indigo Partners’ group. The purchase is a part of a brand-new partnership and codeshare agreement, which will see a new mega-network between the Americas.

JetSMART operates a total of 33 domestic and international routes within South America, offering many connections for American’s travelers. Photo: JetSMART

Under the proposed network from July 2022, American’s flights to Santiago will become a connecting point for dozens of domestic and short-haul international flights. The carrier serves Santiago from three of its hubs in New York, Miami, and Dallas-Ft. Worth. Smaller hubs would include Buenos Aries and dozens of other connections for passengers. Here’s a look at the route map.

American JetSMART Route Map
Passengers will be able to see a lot more of the US and South America, all while earning AAMiles. Photo: American Airlines


American Airlines also highlighted another major benefit for passengers: the potential to earn miles. While JetSMART does not have its own mileage program, travelers on connecting flights will be able to earn and spend AAMiles, giving more incentive and creating “the best travel loyalty program in the Americas.”

The investment is a long-term strategy, with low-cost JetSMART looking to expand quickly and profitably in the near future. American is also committing to further funding in the coming years to support further development where possible.

JetSmart Airbus A320
The decision to partner with a low-cost airline might mean drastic changes in service levels for passengers, however. Photo: Getty Images

The announcement was met with excitement at both airlines. In a statement, JetSMART CEO Estuardo Ortiz said,

“By connecting and growing our respective networks, and maintaining our distinct business models, we see a compelling value proposition. When completed, this proposed partnership would accelerate JetSMART’s path to becoming the leading South American low-cost carrier while expanding service for American’s customers.”


American has been making a concerted push to expand its presence in South America. Since last year, it deepened its partnership with Brazilian low-cost airline GOL to include frequent-flier reciprocity and several new routes. The move also comes as American tackles Delta’s dominance through its ownership stake in LATAM, the region’s biggest carrier.

transatlantic travel corridor
As traffic recovers in the Americas, airlines are looking to deepen their partnerships quickly. Photo: Getty Images

GOL has also welcomed American’s latest investment, with CEO Paulo Kakinoff noting in its quarterly earnings call today,

“We have a very strong partnership with American. That movement is part of a plan to enhance its strong footprint in the region. It is also promising to all the partnerships because the stronger the American is in the region, the most attractive will be our offer. We welcome that movement of American Airlines investing in the region.”

Overall, the move today will be a big win for American Airlines’ and JetSMART’s passengers, providing a broader network and challenge to Delta’s dominance.

What do you think about American’s latest investment? Let us know in the comments!

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5 United Airlines Customers Win Free Flights For A Year

On Thursday, United Airlines announced the lucky winners in its ‘Your shot to fly’ sweepstakes. As an incentive…

5 United Airlines Customers Win Free Flights For A Year

On Thursday, United Airlines announced the lucky winners in its sweepstakes. As an incentive for people to get vaccinated in hopes of restarting travel sooner, the carrier made a full year of free air travel to any of its global destinations up for grabs for five of its MileagePlus loyalty members willing to get the jab.

United is giving away a full year of free travel to five lucky vaccinated winners – and their companions. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

One million people participated

The winners were selected randomly on July 1st, but the list has only just been made public. The free tickets include those for the winner, but also for a companion of their choice. We have a feeling these lucky winners may get calls from several relatives and friends checking if they might be in need of travel partners to interesting destinations. 

The sweepstakes may not have been a decisive factor for all the people who participated to get the jab or not, but more than one million of United’s loyalty members uploaded their vaccine cards to the airline’s app and website. 

“We were proud to do our part to encourage more Americans to get their shot and were thrilled by the overwhelming response we received. This prize clearly struck an emotional chord with our customers, as the opportunity to travel and connect with people and places that matter most is something that clearly has been missed during the pandemic,” United’s CEO, said in a statement. 

United Airlines, Free Flights, Frequent Fliers
The price is valid for any class of cabin on United’s flight. Photo: United Airlines

Oh, the places you’ll go

The five winners are residents of Bradenton in Florida, Cleveland in Ohio, Goodyear in Arizona, and Oakland and San Francisco in California. United flies from Sarasota-Bradenton Airport to its main hubs and the same is true for Cleveland and Phoenix Sky Harbor International, the closest airport to Goodyear. 

They can continue onwards from for instance Newark to Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Delhi, Edinburgh, Dublin, Guatemala City, Lima, Milan, Reykjavik, São Paulo, and Venice. Of course, there are also all the beautiful national parks located close to United’s domestic destinations. 

Meanwhile, travelers from San Francisco can choose from nonstop services to Europe with destinations such as Amsterdam, , and Zurich. In the other direction, there is Papeete in Tahiti, or – if things reopen enough within the year – Tokyo, Beijing, or Sydney. Slightly closer to home there is also Cancun to the south and Toronto to the north. And while United currently does not fly from Oakland, it is a mere 30 minutes drive to SFO. 

United Airlines, Free Flights, Frequent Fliers
An additional 30 people have won a pair of roundtrip tickets with the airline. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Thirty more people get roundtrips

An additional 30 fully vaccinated loyalty members were selected randomly in June to win a roundtrip flight for two in any class in any service to any of the airline’s destinations. 

“I’d like to extend my personal gratitude to everyone who entered the sweepstakes and more importantly, made the decision to get vaccinated,” Scott Kirby continued his message on Thursday. 

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