As mentioned, its very unlikely that NW
or US will open routes to South America in the near-term future for several reasons.
1. Neither has a well placed hub to launch South American services - CLT
for US and MEM
, their southern most hubs, would have a hard time supporting South American services - neither could generate O&D traffic. For a route to make a good profit, a reasonable mix of O&D and connecting traffic is required, which explains why so much of the service between the US and Latin America is routed via MIA
2. Much of the airservice between the US and SouthAmerican nations is controlled by treaty - for the most part, its not an open-skies situation and it would take lots of time and negotiation for either carrier to open the routes. For example, CO
for years wanted to fly EWR
-Buenos Aires; after years of waiting, authority was finally granted but this came after 9/11 when the airlines were in their worst trouble and the Argentinian economy had hit bottom - CO
elected not to fly the route and the authority was resassigned to DL
is out of luck.
3. Neither has the aircraft - NW
needs all of its A333s to replace DC10s on European services and all of the A332s for fleet replacement on pacific services and the SEA
route......nothing is left over; its still not clear what NW
is going to use on DTW
routes after the DC10, never mind an expansion into south america that would required many aircraft. US uses its long-haul craft to europe and some high density routes, it has nothing left over and very few seriously think that US will be able to accept delivery on the A332s due to finances.
4. Alliance partners can handle these routes - NW
can route pax on CO
, and US can route pax on UA
has cut most south american routes) or on RG