TAM, Brazil’s largest airline, and Britain’s bmi, the second-largest airline operating out of Heathrow Airport in London, will initiate an operational codeshare agreement on April 14. Approved by officials of both countries, the initial phase of the bilateral agreement will allow the two companies to expand services for customers traveling between Brazil and the United Kingdom, resulting in more destination options in both countries and convenient connections for the largest Brazilian and British cities.
Through this partnership, customers will enjoy simplified flight reservation procedures, convenient connections with just one ticket, and the ability to check baggage through to final destination.
In the first phase, TAM’s customers will be able to fly from Sao Paulo to Heathrow Airport aboard the modern Boeing 777-300ER, with 365 executive and economy class seats. In Heathrow, return flights operated by bmi going to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and Birmingham and Manchester in England, will be available, using the code JJ*.
Using the code BD*, bmi customers can take direct flights from London to Brazil aboard the B777 operated by TAM. Connecting flights to the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Salvador, and Fortaleza will be available at Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo.
In the second phase, the partnership will be expanded to include bmi routes, allowing TAM to offer its customers more connection options throughout Europe. Bmi customers will also benefit from the addition of TAM destinations to other South American countries, such as Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Montevideo (Uruguay), and Lima (Peru).
Paulo Castello Branco, TAM’s commercial and planning vice president, said, “The agreement with bmi will allow us to offer our Brazilian customers more options in Europe in the medium term and reinforce our strategy of establishing partnerships with the world’s foremost airline companies.” He added that the partnership follows the company’s overall strategy of expanding international operations and positioning itself as one of the leading companies in the global aviation market.
“We are delighted to begin this codeshare partnership with TAM, making our network of domestic routes in the United Kingdom available to customers who travel for pleasure or business and adding mid-range destinations to the network,” said Peter Spencer, bmi director. The British airline is part of BSP Brazil, which allows authorized travel agents to issue tickets for this company in Brazil, and is a member of the Star Alliance, a global airline alliance that TAM will become part of the first quarter of 2010. Bmi operates over 180 flights per week through a network of 60 airports in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.