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Gol Transportes Aéreos

Gol Transportes Aéreos
IATA ICAO Callsign
G3 GLO GOL
Founded 2000
Commenced operations 2001
Operating bases
Hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Smiles
Airport lounge Smiles Lounge
Alliance None
Fleet size 144
Destinations 75
Company slogan Voe do seu jeito. Voe Gol.
Headquarters São Paulo, Brazil
Key people Carlos Flora, CEO)
Website .com.voegolwww

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A ("Gol Intelligent Airlines S.A." also known as VRG Linhas Aéreas S/A) BM&F Bovespa: GOLL3, GOLL4 / NYSE: GOL is a Brazilian airline based in Comandante Lineu Gomes Square, São Paulo, Brazil.[1] The company is the second largest Brazilian airline company by market share and fleet size, after TAM Airlines, a subsidiary of Latam Airlines. Gol competes in Brazil and other South American countries with Chilean LATAM Airlines Group, Brazilian Azul and Colombia-based Avianca Holdings S.A. It also owns the brand Varig, although now that name refers to what is informally known as the "new" Varig, founded in 2006, not to the extinct "old" Varig airline, founded in 1927.

According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), between January and December 2014 Gol/Varig had 36.1% of the domestic and 15.71% of the international market shares in terms of passengers per kilometer flown,[2] making it the second largest airline in Brazil, after TAM.

Gol operates a growing domestic and international scheduled network. Its main hubs are São Paulo–Congonhas Airport, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport and Brasília International Airport. Gol also has focus operations at Tancredo Neves International Airport near Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport, São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, Salgado Filho International Airport in Porto Alegre, and Punta Cana International Airport

Gol refers to itself as Gol Intelligent Airlines[3] (Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes in Portuguese) as a slogan. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as "GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A."[4]

The company's name is not an acronym or abbreviation, but an actual word: gol is a Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish word borrowing from the English word "goal" (from Association football/soccer).[5]
Logo of the "new" VARIG brand

Contents

  • History 1
    • Purchase of Varig 1.1
    • Purchase of Webjet Linhas Aéreas 1.2
  • Destinations 2
  • Fleet 3
  • Airline Affinity Program 4
  • Incidents and accidents 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Gol ticket counter at Brasilia International Airport

The airline was established in 2000 and started operations on January 15, 2001 with a flight from Brasília to São Paulo.[6] It is a subsidiary of the Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Áurea, based in Minas Gerais state, which has other transportation interests, including Brazil's largest long-distance bus company. Grupo Áurea in turn is owned by the Constantino family. As of 2004, Gol had carried 11,600,000 passengers, and constituted 20% of the Brazilian air travel market.

On June 24, 2004 Gol launched simultaneous initial public offerings on the New York and São Paulo stock exchanges. In 2007, Gol was owned by AeroPar Participações (75.5%), Venture (17.6%), American International Group (5.4%) and Air France-KLM (1,5%).[7] The growth in Gol's stock price made the Constantino family a member of the Forbes magazine billionaire list in 2005.

In 2007, Gol was supposed to begin a code-share agreement with TAP Portugal, opening the European market to the Brazilian airline, and the internal Brazilian market to the Portuguese airline (the largest foreign airline in Brazil). Instead, TAP Portugal chose to cooperate with TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas).[8]

On February 24, 2010 Gol announced to be in "advanced talks" to join Oneworld alliance,[9] which would allow it to catch up with rival TAM, a recent member of Star Alliance. However, on October 6, 2010, the airline announced a change in position by denying any interest in joining an alliance, preferring to remain independent and to establish a "patchwork of code-sharing agreements."[10] Following this trend, on September 28, 2011 Gol and Aerolíneas Argentinas announced the intention to implement a codeshare, feeder and frequent flyer programs agreement on a date yet to be announced and pending approval from the governments of Brazil and Argentina.[11]

On March 18, 2010 Gol unveiled the expansion of its maintenance base located at Belo Horizonte/Confins - Tancredo Neves International Airport. Originally opened in 2006 with the capacity to service 60 aircraft per year (mainly Boeing 737 and 767), the expansion allowed Gol to increase the number to 120.[12] Gol later started also using the base to service aircraft from other airlines, and as of 2013 it also serviced airplanes from Azul Brazilian Airlines and Copa Airlines.[13][14]

On December 23, 2010, Gol Airlines started an operational partnership with Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas. The agreement was rescinded on July 31, 2014, when Passaredo established a similar interline agreement with TAM Airlines instead.[15]

On December 7, 2011, Gol announced the intention of Delta Air Lines to purchase 3% of its shares.[16] The agreement also includes the creation of mutual code-share flights, alignment of frequent flyer benefits and transfer of Gol's Boeing 767s lease agreements to Delta.[17]

On October 1, 2012, Gol confirmed a firm order of 60 Boeing 737 MAXs. References did not specify the type of MAX aircraft.[18][19]

On October 6, 2012, Gol started seasonal operations to Miami and Orlando, available for Smiles account holders and originating in Brazil only. Technically, they are considered charter flights, although they are not necessarily part of an inclusive tour package; the use of miles or miles plus money is mandatory, as well as a minimum 7-day stay at the destination.[20]

On 23 January 2013, the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) announced that Gol Airlines had the fourth worst safety record in the world. The ratings take into account the number and deadliness of the hull losses (destroyed airplanes) they have suffered in the past 30 years, how they have fared more recently, and how many flights they have flown without incident. The results do not take into account the cause of the hull losses, or whether the airline is at fault, so they are not a perfect measure of how safely an airline behaves. It should be noted that since Gol is a relatively young airline with only one hull loss, but with a large number of casualties (Flight 1907), that single fatal accident significantly affects the calculation.[21]

In February 2014, Air France–KLM announced it would invest $100 million in Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes in advance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.[22]

Some disagreement exists as to whether Gol is a low-cost carrier. In 2014, Gol was ranked the second best low-cost airline in South America after Azul.[23] Gol refers to itself as a low-cost carrier, but it is increasingly not regarded as such. According to UFRJ specialist Elton Fernandes, "Gol's costs are not very different from those of TAM Airlines. People are accustomed to calling Gol low-cost, but Gol is not that. It is not even low-fare anymore."[24]

Purchase of Varig

On March 28, 2007 Gol officially purchased part of the assets of VARIG - VRG Linhas Aéreas, informally known as the "new Varig," a new company that owned the Varig brand, for US$320 million from Volo Group and MatlinPatterson Global Opportunies hedge fund. At that time, the "old Varig" was under bankruptcy protection.

Gol announced that the Varig brand would continue doing business operating as such, rather than its official name VRG Linhas Aéreas.[25] The transaction, via its GTI subsidiary, required a US$98 million cash payment, with the balance through the allocation of non-voting shares to VARIG Logística and Volo, which had acquired VARIG in June 2006 for US$24 million.[26] The transaction did not involve the original airline, informally known as "old Varig," which continued to exist until its own bankruptcy in mid-2010 under the name Flex Linhas Aéreas.

In 2009 Gol was merged into VRG Linhas Aéreas. VRG Linhas Aéreas thus became an airline that operates two brands: Gol and Varig, although in reality flights are operated only under Gol flight numbers. Initially, the Varig brand operated to medium-haul scheduled and charter international destinations within South America and to the Caribbean with Boeing 737-700's configured in two classes, and to long-haul charter international destinations in North America, Europe and Africa with Boeing 767-300ERs configured in economy only. The latter were also used in wet-lease operations.[27] This scheme was later dropped. The brand Gol operates most of the flights of the network, and had aircraft configured in all-economy class, used for scheduled domestic and international operations within South America.

Because of contractual obligations, between 2006 and 2009 the "new Varig" (VRG Linhas Aéreas) was obliged to purchase a minimum of 140 hours/month of services from the "old Varig" (Flex Linhas Aéreas). Therefore, at that time, some of VRG Linhas Aéreas flights operated with Gol flight numbers but were actually flown with chartered aircraft from Flex Linhas Aéreas. The agreement ceased before the bankruptcy of Flex on August 20, 2010.[28]

Purchase of Webjet Linhas Aéreas

On July 9, 2011, VRG Linhas Aéreas, owner of the brands Gol and Varig, announced the intention to purchase full control of WebJet Linhas Aéreas.[29] The purchase contract was signed on August 2, 2011.[30] On October 10, 2012 the purchase received its final approval with some operational restrictions from the Brazilian regulatory agency.[31] Services were integrated but both companies continued to operate independently for some weeks.[32][33] Integration started on October 17, 2012 when sales requested via Webjet's web-portal started to be redirected to Gol's site.[34] However, on November 23, 2012 Webjet abruptly ceased to operate and all services were incorporated by Gol. The Webjet brand ceased to exist.[32][33] Gol also announced its intention to return all of Webjet's Boeing 737-300s to lessors until the end of the first quarter of 2013. There was no mention to the fate of Webjet's 737-800s.[35]

Webjet Boeing 737-300.
Webjet Boeing 737-300.

Destinations

Fleet

GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes current fleet
An Boeing 737-700 wearing the livery with white engines.

As of October 2015, the fleet of VRG Linhas Aéreas, consisted of the following aircraft:[36][37][38]

Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
W Y Total
Boeing 737-700 37 42 104 144 The seats in rows 1-7 have 10 cm extra space and 50% more reclining called Gol+ Conforto.[39]
Boeing 737-800 107 76 39 138 177 The seats in rows 1-7 have 10 cm extra space and 50% more reclining called Gol+ Conforto.[39]

Orders to be delivered between 2015 and 2020. The total may include some 737-900ERs.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 60 TBA
Total 144 136
Retired GOL and VARIG Fleets
Aircraft Total Years of operation Notes
Boeing 737-300 24 2000–2011
Boeing 767-200ER 1 2007–2011 Stored
Boeing 767-300ER 2 2007–2011 Both sent to Delta Air Lines

Airline Affinity Program

Smiles is Gol/Varig's Frequent-flyer program since July 20, 2006. Points can be used for services from Gol/Varig, and partners Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air France, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, KLM and Qatar Airways including flights, upgrades, holidays, hotel stays and car rentals. Smiles was part of the "new Varig" package bought by Gol, which honored all miles and eventually became its own frequent-flyer program. Previously Gol had no such program.

On a study conducted in 2011, Smiles ranked third among 24 chosen frequent flyer programs, with 97.1% success of requests made.[40]

In 2013, Smiles was spun off as an independent company [41] eventually leading to its IPO at BOVESPA on April 2013.[42]

Incidents and accidents

References

  1. ^ 2010 CALENDÁRIO DE EVENTOS CORPORATIVOS." Gol Transportes Aéreos. Retrieved on February 14, 2010. "Endereço da Sede: Praça Comandante Lineu Gomes, s/n, portaria 3, Aeroporto, CEP 04626-900 – São Paulo - SP"
  2. ^
  3. ^ Home Page (International), Gol Transportes Aéreos. January 4, 2007. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
  4. ^ "GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A.," NYSE Euronext
  5. ^ "Brazilian airline flying high doing everything on the cheap," Deseret News
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  25. ^ Former Brazilian Flagship Airline Bought 28 March 2007
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  39. ^ a b http://www.voegol.com.br/pt-br/servicos/assento-mais-conforto/Paginas/assentos-conforto.aspx
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External links

  • Gol website
  • Gol mobile website
  • Gollog - (Cargo service)
  • Gol History sketch at Aviação Brasil
  • "new" Varig History sketch at Aviação Brasil
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