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American has recently been trying to make up for the collapse of its partnership with LATAM (and the exit of that partner from the oneworld alliance) by partnering with GOL, a Brazilian airline based in Sao Paulo.
Things appear to have got off to a reasonable start because multiple GOL codeshares launched today (13 February 2020), American has increased capacity to multiple South American destinations (most recently to Montevideo) and now American has filed the additional flights between Miami and Rio de Janeiro that had been discussed but not fully announced.
From 7 January 2021 American Airlines will double its service between Miami and Rio de Janeiro using a Boeing 787-8.
The currently published schedule looks like this:
AA901 MIA 19:40 – 06:05+1 GIG (Daily 787-8 service)
AA905 MIA 22:45 – 09:10+1 GIG (Daily 777-200 service)
AA904 GIG 22:25 – 05:15+1 day MIA (Daily 777-200 service)
AA990 GIG 23:59 – 06:45+1 day MIA (Daily 787-8 service)
[HT: Routes Online]
American has said that it will be operating this route with a second flight “during the peak winter months” so it’s possible that we may not see this second flight operating much past March…but we’ll have to wait and see.
The Original Flight Offers Better Business Class
While it’s clearly good news (both for prices and award availability) that American is adding a second daily flight to its Miami – Rio route but if I was looking to book a Business Class ticket I’d be making sure I avoided the new flights if possible.
The American Airlines 787-8 offers the weakest of the newer wide-body American Airlines Business Class cabins as the seats can feel more than a little claustrophobic and coffin-like.
Clearly these seats are still a considerable step up from Premium Economy and Economy Class but the B/E Aerospace seats offered in the Business Class cabin of the 777-200 are, in my opinion, considerably more comfortable.
It should be noted that American has more than one seat-type that it uses on its 777-200s but the seat maps for the flights in 2021 are showing a Business Class cabin with 37 seats which represents a cabin with the B/E Aerospace seats.
With American Airlines adding a second daily flight to Rio from January 2021 the extra 20 Business Class seats on offer in either direction should, hopefully, make award seats a little easier to find and keep prices down.
The Premium Economy cabins on the aircraft American operates on this route are very similar in terms of comfort but the Business Class cabins are poles apart – avoid the 787 when possible if you’re booking Business Class.