Tag Archives: Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes

GOL to launch a network of 250 eVTOL aircraft in Brazil

GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., Brazil’s largest airline, in conjunction with Grupo Comporte, an entity of its controlling shareholder, announce that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent with Avolon for the acquisition and/or lease of 250 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Following aircraft certification and successful delivery of the aircraft, the Company expects to start operating a flight network in Brazil using eVTOL planes by mid-2025.

Grupo Comporte is providing the investment capital required for the project, and will engage GOL’s aviation expertise to develop the flight network using VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft. Created by the British enterprise Vertical Aerospace (“Vertical”), the VA-X4 eVTOL model is considered one of the most technologically advanced and reliable air taxis in development today.

The agreement with Avolon and Grupo Comporte is also part of GOL’s commercial strategy to invest strategically in the regional air transportation market, opening up new routes to underserved domestic markets. It follows an announcement in June 2021 that GOL acquired MAP Transportes Aéreos, Brazil’s fifth largest domestic airline, with a fleet of 70-seat ATRs that operate on routes in the Amazon region from the Manaus Airport and Brazil’s South and Southeast regions from Congonhas, the country’s largest domestic airport.

A new fleet for a new era of air travel and more connectivity.

GOL currently operates a fleet of 127 Boeing 737 aircraft and pre-pandemic transported over 37 million passengers per year. The Company plans to transition 75% of its fleet to the more efficient 737-MAX aircraft by 2030, which reduce carbon emissions by 16%. Together, the adoption of the Boeing MAX, eVTOL aircraft, and other innovations including the use of biofuels, will form key components in GOL’s strategy to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The VA-X4 can carry up to four passengers and one pilot, with a range of 160 km (100 miles) and a maximum speed of 320 km/h (200 mph). The eVTOL aircraft also produces 100 times less noise than a cruising helicopter, and 30 times less on takeoff and landing. Vertical used the know-how of renowned and experienced partners and suppliers in aerospace manufacturing, including Honeywell, Microsoft, Rolls-Royce and Solvay, to develop advanced flight controls, information technology, electric engines, and state-of-the-art industrial technology in its VA-X4 aircraft.

The first step of the new partnership is to carry out a feasibility study, including aircraft certification and analysis of the infrastructure needed to operate this aircraft with ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency), DECEA (Department of Airspace Control), and other national and international aeronautical authorities. Avolon expects to complete the certification process for the VA-X4 in Brazil by 2024, with the Company beginning commercial flights with the eVTOL as part of its route network in mid-2025.

 

American Airlines and Gol to form an exclusive partnership

American Airlines and Gol have made this announcement:

  • Carriers have entered into an exclusive codeshare agreement that will deepen their partnership and strengthen the largest network between the U.S. and Brazil.
  • American’s AAdvantage and GOL’s SMILES loyalty programs will create the largest joint frequent flyer program in the Americas with enhanced benefits coming in 2022.
  • Increased commercial cooperation will drive sustainable growth, including more flights to more destinations for both airlines.

American Airlines has announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to further solidify its partnership with GOL, Brazil’s largest airline. Building on the two carriers’ initial codeshare offering in 2020, the expanded partnership includes an exclusive codeshare agreement, a larger and more lucrative joint SMILES and AAdvantage® loyalty program partnership. It also expects to increase commercial cooperation with GOL to accelerate growth and create a more seamless experience for all customers.

Exclusive Codeshare between the U.S. and Brazil

GOL will become American’s sole codeshare partner in Brazil and American will become GOL’s sole codeshare partner in the U.S. On their combined networks, customers can travel to more than 30 destinations served by American in the U.S. and more than 20 new destinations in South America served by GOL.

American has served Latin America since 1942 and offers service to 17 destinations in South America, including Sao Paulo (GRU) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG) in Brazil, from its U.S. hubs in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA) and New York (JFK). American has flown more than 14 million customers between the U.S. and Brazil in the last 10 years – more than twice as many as any other U.S. carrier. GOL serves 63 destinations in Brazil and is the country’s largest airline.

Enhanced Joint Loyalty Offering

The largest network in the Americas will also be the most rewarding for travelers. In 2022, GOL’s SMILES and American’s AAdvantage loyalty members will gain access to their elite benefits such as priority check-in, priority security, priority boarding, a larger checked baggage allowance, lounge access and preferred seats on both airlines. The two airlines also expect to offer an enhanced joint loyalty offering to give customers more ways to earn and redeem miles.

Commercial Cooperation

The strengthened relationship will also allow for further commercial cooperation in areas such as purchasing, sales tools and systems integrations, as allowed by regulatory and contractual limitations. American will have the right to appoint one member to GOL’s board of directors, who, in addition to other duties, will be granted membership and participation on GOL’s Alliance Committee and any other board committees related to the operational partnership between GOL and American.

American will invest US$200 million in 22.2 million newly issued preferred shares of GOL in a capital increase, for a 5.2% participation in the Company’s economic interest. The completion of the agreements described in this press release, including the proposed equity investment are subject to conditions, including the negotiation, execution and delivery of definitive documentation, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Gol orders 28 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as it upgrades its fleet

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. has announced the acceleration of its fleet transformation by signing agreements for 28 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which is expected to reduce the Company’s unit costs by 8% in 2022.

The total of 28 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will replace 23 Boeing 737-800 NGs by the end of 2022.

The Company currently operates 12 737 MAX aircraft, having returned 18 Boeing 737 NGs in the past 18 months. As a result of the new agreements, Gol will now end 2021 with 28 737 MAX aircraft (22% of the total fleet), and by the year-end 2022 will have received delivery of 44 737 MAX aircraft (32% of the total fleet). With its current 737 MAX commitments, Gol will meet its objective of having a 75% MAX fleet by 2030.

The aircraft will be financed via 15 direct operating leases, nine sale-leasebacks (“SLBs”) and four finance leases. The Company’s plan is to own around half of its fleet via finance leases, with the remainder in operating leases to give it high flexibility to upsize or downsize capacity based on demand. Additionally, bringing in the 737 MAXs enables Gol to accelerate returns of -700 and -800 NGs aircraft on short-term leases, while it maintains substantial flexibility to manage its fleet in close alignment with fluctuations in demand for air travel during the pandemic.

The Company operates 127 Boeing 737 aircraft. The 12 MAX in the fleet currently are financed via direct operating leases. The revised fleet plan is presented in the table below:

GOL’s Fleet Plan 2020 2Q21 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
737 NG 700 24 23 18 18 16 14 12
737 NG 800 96 94 84 74 67 68 63
737 MAX 8 7 10 28 44 51 58 65
737 MAX 10 0 0 0 0 5 7 10
TOTAL (end of period) 127 127 130 136 139 147 150

Gol to acquire regional carrier MAP Linhas Aéreos

GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire MAP Transportes Aéreos Ltda. (MAP Linhas Aéreos), a Brazilian domestic airline with flight routes to regional destinations and São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport.

The acquisition reflects the Company’s on-going commitment to expanding the demand for passenger air transportation in Brazil and what its Management perceives to be an unparalleled market opportunity for rational consolidation in the Brazilian aviation market, as the country’s economy recovers from Covid-19.

Photo: Wikipedia.

Founded in 2011, MAP is the fifth-largest Brazilian domestic airline, with a fleet of seven 70-seat ATR 72s that operate on routes in the Amazon region from the Manaus Airport and Brazil’s South and Southeast regions from Congonhas, the country’s largest domestic airport. The realization of this Transaction will reinforce GOL’s leading positioning in two of of its main bases, with growth of approximately 10% at CGH via the addition of 26 daily flights. Thus, the Company will be able to serve new destinations connecting South America’s largest city to historically underserved domestic markets, as the restrictions resulting from the pandemic are reduced or eliminated.

GOL sees three core benefits of the Transaction:

  1. Expansion of New Routes. The Company intends to offer new destinations and routes, complementary to its current network at Congonhas Airport, that will provide a wider range of flight options for passengers and greater convenience for Clients.

    “We believe the GOL network is the most attractive option in Brazil for both business and leisure Clients in terms of the cost, service and availability of flights,” said Edu Bernardes, Vice-president of Sales and Marketing.

  2. Offering Higher Seat Density to Historically Underserved Markets. In addition to expanding to new routes, the Company will provide a substantially higher number of seats per flight than currently available by MAP to these markets. The ATRs will be substituted for larger and more efficient aircraft, giving continuity to GOL’s regional strategy, that today operates on 23 Boeing 737-700s – a model that can be substituted with even more efficient aircraft in the future.

    “By servicing these routes with more modern and larger aircraft, the Company will increase the number of flights and seats from one of the main markets in the country,” said Celso Ferrer, Vice-president of Operations.

  3. Enhancing Cost-Efficient Operations. With unit costs among the lowest in the world, GOL will offer greater efficiency in Congonhas with these new operations. These lower costs enable the Company to offer more competitive ticket prices than any competitor in Brazil to markets typically serviced by competitors with smaller and less efficient aircraft, providing benefits of scale from GOL’s operations.

    “The Transaction is another example that the Company is ready to resume its sustainable growth and investment in Brazilian air transportation, supported by substantially lower operating costs than the competition,” added Richard Lark, CFO.

Transaction Terms and Conditions. MAP will be acquired for R$28 million in cash and stock, to be paid upon satisfaction of all closing conditions, comprised of 100,000 GOLL4 shares at R$28 per share and R$25 million in cash to be paid in twenty-four monthly installments. At closing, the Company will assume up to R$100 million of MAP’s financial obligations. The Transaction closing is subject to certain conditions precedent, including approvals and confirmations by Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and by Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).

GOL becomes the first airline to resume commercial flights with the Boeing 737 MAX

GOL, Brazil’s largest domestic airline, has announced that it will resume flying the Boeing 737 MAX on commercial routes in its domestic network, starting December 9, 2020. The first flights will be on routes to and from the Company’s hub in São Paulo. By the end of December, all seven Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in GOL’s current fleet should be cleared to return fully to operation and will be gradually reincorporated into the Company’s flight schedules in alignment with its operational needs. 

“Our first priority is always the Safety of our Customers,” says Celso Ferrer, VP of Operations at GOL and a commercial pilot who regularly flies Boeing planes and is already trained to fly the 737 MAX. “Over the past 20 months, we have watched the most comprehensive safety review in the history of commercial aviation unfold, bringing together regulatory agencies and airlines from around the world to monitor and contribute to the upgrades in aircraft systems and pilot training. Consequently, following the new certification of the Boeing 737 MAX by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, United States) and ANAC (National Agency Civil Aviation Administration, Brazil), we are fully confident in the MAX’s return to service,” Added Celso. 

Before reintegrating the MAX-8 into its fleet, GOL conducted training for 140 of its pilots in conjunction with Boeing, meeting all the technical and operational requirements outlined in the plan approved by FAA and ANAC. The trainings took place in the United States using a MAX simulator. The Company also completed a rigorous series of technical flights, which exceeded the requirements set out by aviation regulatory agencies. 

These Safety actions reinforced the meticulous work of removing the MAX-8 aircraft from storage by the aviation engineers at GOL Aerotech, the Company’s business unit specialized in maintenance, repairs, aircraft servicing and components, based in Confins near the city of Belo Horizonte in southeast Brazil and where the aircraft were located for the past 20 months. The work performed by the Company professionals at every stage is a testament to GOL’s culture of excellence in Safety.

The Company’s experience and resources for maintaining Boeing aircraft also contributed to the ability to quickly and safely return the MAX to its network. GOL Aerotech is qualified to perform maintenance on Boeing 737 Next Generation, 737 Classic, 737 MAX and Boeing 767 family aircraft. With over 760 employees, including engineers and technicians, the business unit is able to service 80 aircraft per year on average and provide over 600,000 hours of maintenance. It is certified by national and international regulators such as ANAC, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, United States) and the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).

Gol aircraft photo gallery:

Gol aircraft slide show:

Gol cancels 34 Boeing 737 MAX orders

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. has announced it reached an agreement with the Boeing Company (“Boeing”) regarding the 737 MAX, which includes cash compensation and changes to future orders and associated payment schedules.

“Gol remains fully committed to the 737 MAX as the core of its fleet and this agreement further enhances our successful long-term partnership with Boeing,” said Paulo Kakinoff, Gol’s CEO.

Since its founding nearly twenty years ago, Gol has operated a single fleet of Boeing aircraft. The Company is one of Boeing’s largest customers for the 737 family globally and to date has received and operated over 250 Boeing 737 aircraft. Through this valuable partnership with Boeing, Gol has delivered the Brazilian market one of the most successful low-cost carriers in the world.

In the first quarter of 2019, the unexpected grounding of the 737 MAX by regulatory agencies worldwide, including the FAA, the EASA and the ANAC, resulted in seven (7) of Gol’s operational 737 MAX aircraft being grounded, and the non-delivery of 25 737 MAX aircraft scheduled for 2019. This grounding adversely impacted GOL’s operations, growth and fleet renewal plan.

After carefully considering these impacts, the Company and Boeing reached an agreement that provides Gol with compensation and flexibility to implement its dynamic fleet requirements to match supply with demand. While the details of the agreement are confidential, it includes cash compensation and the termination of 34 orders, reducing the Company’s remaining firm orders for 737 MAX aircraft from 129 to 95 and increasing flexibility to meet Gol’s future fleet needs.

Gol aircraft photo gallery:

Gol reduces network, maintains service to all Brazilian capital cities

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., Brazil’s largest domestic airline, announces a further readjustment of its domestic flight network, effective for the period from March 28 (Saturday) through to May 3 (Sunday), in response to the lower demand during coronavirus pandemic.

As Brazilians take responsible steps to socially distance and avoid travel, Gol will maintain an essential network of 50 daily flights between the São Paulo International airport in Guarulhos (GRU) and the other 26 capital cities of Brazil.

All of Gol’s regular regional and international operations will be suspended. This brings the total reduction in Gol’s total flight capacity to approximately 92% in domestic markets and 100% in international markets until early May.

Gol aircraft photo gallery:

Gol’s statement on the Delta-LATAM partnership

GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. statement:

Delta has been terrific partner of GOL and we wish them well. We valued our partnership with Delta, and are gratified to see its continuing confidence in the Latin American aviation market.

The phase out of this codeshare and investment in our non-voting shares is not expected to have a significant financial impact to GOL as the current relationship provided approximately 0.3% of GOL’s total revenues.

During the transition period, GOL will work with Delta to ensure a seamless experience for customers. GOL Airlines is the largest Brazilian domestic carrier and we look forward to competing and growing in our markets. GOL has had a strong year with our passenger revenue up 37.9% year-over-year in 2Q19, and we are confident about our year-end results.

Gol aircraft photo gallery:

 

Gol announces new nonstop flights to Lima, Peru

Gol Transportes Aereos Boeing 737-8EH WL PR-GTA (msn 34474) SCL (Alvaro Romero). Image: 946390.

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. haannounced the expansion of its international network with regular flights to Lima, Peru.

This will be the 15th international destination that Gol will serve, beginning on December 12, 2019, with direct flights from the Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo to the Peruvian capital.

The route will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Gol Transportes Aereos Boeing 737-8EH WL PR-GTA (msn 34474) SCL (Alvaro Romero). Image: 946390.

Gol aircraft slide show:

Gol accelerates its fleet renewal to the Boeing 737 MAX 8

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. has announced a further acceleration of its fleet renewal and modernization plan and the execution of sale and leaseback agreements, with Castlelake and Apollo Aviation, for 13 Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) aircraft in the Gol fleet that will be replaced with Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft over the next few years.

Due to favorable market conditions for transactions with its Boeing 737 NGs, Gol has accelerated its fleet renewal and modernization plan with sale and leaseback transactions of 13 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft that will be removed from the fleet during 2019-2021.

 

The accelerated fleet renewal will not alter Gol’s planned capacity, as these aircraft will be returned simultaneously with the receipt of new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft under its order with Boeing and recent direct operating leases of 11 737 MAX8 aircraft.  The accelerated return of NGs will allow Gol to finish 2019 and 2018 with 24 and 34 737 MAX 8s in its operating fleet, respectively.

The 737 MAX will be the backbone of Gol’s fleet, increasing average seat per aircraft and bringing incremental cost per seat to very low levels. 

By 2023, over 40% of the fleet with be comprised of 737 MAXs and over the next five years the transition to the MAX is expected to increase productivity by over 20% and reduce fuel consumption.

Compared to Gol’s 737-800 NG aircraft, the 737 MAX 8 has decreased fuel consumption on GOL’s routes by approximately 15%.