American Airlines plans to invest in South American low-cost carrier JetSMART and expand flight options for travelers to the region through a codeshare program.
American Airlines announced Thursday its intent to acquire a minority stake in JetSMART. If the plans are approved by regulators, the investment from American will allow JetSMART to grow its network, the company said in a statement, and allow customers to earn and redeem points through American’s loyalty program on JetSMART flights.
“This proposed investment in JetSMART would give customers access to the largest network, lowest fares, and best travel loyalty program in the Americas,” said Vasu Raja, American’s chief revenue officer, in a statement.
JetSMART is owned by Indigo Partners, which also owns Denver-based Frontier Airlines. JetSMART is based in Chile and Argentina and flies to 33 destinations throughout South America. Trujillo, Peru, is its northernmost destination not already served by American Airlines; Ushuia, Argentina, is its southernmost.
American Airlines offers nonstop flights to 17 South American destinations from its U.S. hubs in Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami and New York. American is by far Miami International Airport’s largest carrier.
American previously attempted to launch a similar partnership with Chile-based LATAM Airlines. Instead, LATAM inked a deal with Delta Airlines last year.