American Airlines, Latin America and the Caribbean among priorities

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American Airlines, Latin America and the Caribbean among priorities
Source: American Airlines
February 15, 2022

The US airline experienced tremendous growth in the region during 2021

ALTA shares with us a report on José María Giraldo, General Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean; and Gonzalo Schames, Director for South America and Strategic Alliances. 

American Airlines recently announced new directors for Latin America. What are the company's priorities in this region?
In 2021, American experienced tremendous growth in Latin America and the Caribbean by introducing seven new destinations, more than 40 new routes and growing strategic alliances in South America. At the end of 2021, we announce our two new leaders for the region; José María Giraldo, General Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean; and Gonzalo Schames, Director for South America and Strategic Alliances. Under his leadership, I am confident that we will continue to strengthen our presence in the region in 2022, with a continued focus on our network and collaborations.
How do you foresee the Latin American and Caribbean market for the end of this year?
Last year was a record year for American in Latin America and the Caribbean, with our capacity in markets like Mexico and Colombia responding to unprecedented demand. In Mexico, for example, we grew more than 20%, incorporating two new destinations -Culiacán and Chetumal-, as well as new routes to key leisure destinations in the country from our hubs in the United States and from Austin. In Colombia we grew more than 100% with new routes at JFK, more wide-body flights, as well as the launch of our seventh destination in the country, San Andrés. This year, as our customers continue to take to the skies, we look forward to continuing to launch new and exciting flights in Latin America and the Caribbean.
What will determine the future of aviation?
Strategic alliances are the future of the sector. For this very reason, American has continued to invest in its partnerships around the world, with GOL and JetSMART in South America. We strongly believe that these two partnerships will allow American to grow aggressively and profitably throughout Latin America as demand continues to recover.
What does this region need to be prepared for the future of aviation?
The Latin American and Caribbean region has a unique opportunity to continue to grow impressively in a post-COVID environment. To achieve this, it is imperative that we focus on harmonizing entry requirements in order to simplify the customer experience and reduce airline fines. In the long term, it is a golden opportunity to refocus on airport infrastructure that will enable future growth in the region. Finally, we must maintain many of the efficiencies that we have identified over the last two years, as they will be crucial once the pandemic is over.
How would you describe American Airlines' work with ALTA?
As the leading US carrier in Latin America and the Caribbean, American is committed to the region, which is home to approximately 4,000 team members and operates nearly 2,200 weekly flights to 90 destinations. Our work with ALTA and its members has been paramount as we move forward in our recovery and continue to strive together to promote travel and tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean, an important economic engine for the region.
A word that was repeated in the conversation with José was collaboration. And that is precisely our flag. In the face of an unprecedented crisis, the collaboration of an entire industry that provides an essential service has been key to getting ahead and in the recovery path that we still have in front of us, it will continue to be essential. At ALTA we are proud to be the meeting point for the industry in the region and I am sure that together we will be able to continue connecting opportunities.


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