American remains by far the strongest carrier in Latin America, and it is affiliated with LATAM, the largest Latin America-based airline group. Delta ( DAL) "is trying to make inroads and United will eventually figure out that they need to make greater inroads," Mann said. "American and US Airways are just bulking up." US Airways also flies Charlotte-Rio and will add Charlotte-Sao Paulo next year.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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