Gol Transportes Aéreos
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 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), between January and December 2015 Gol had 35.9% of the domestic and 13.6% of the international market shares in terms of passengers per kilometer flown, making it the largest low-cost airline in South America and the second largest Brazilian airline company by market share and fleet size, after LATAM Brasil. 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.
|Company slogan||#NovaGol. Novos tempos no ar.
(English: "The new Gol. New times on the air.")
|Headquarters||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Key people||Paulo Kakinoff, CEO|
Gol operates a growing domestic and international scheduled network. Its main hubs are São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport and Tancredo Neves International Airport near Belo Horizonte. Gol also has focus operations at Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport, São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, Salgado Filho International Airport in Porto Alegre Gol refers to itself as Gol Intelligent Airlines (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."
The airline was established in 2000 and started operations on January 15, 2001 with a flight from Brasília to São Paulo. 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. Constantino Júnior was responsible for building the business next to the vice president of the company, David Barioni.
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%). 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).
On February 24, 2010 Gol announced to be in "advanced talks" to join Oneworld alliance, 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." 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.
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. 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.
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.
On December 7, 2011, Gol announced the intention of Delta Air Lines to purchase 3% of its shares. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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."
Purchase of VarigEdit
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. 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. 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. 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.
Purchase of Webjet Linhas AéreasEdit
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. The purchase contract was signed on August 2, 2011. On October 10, 2012 the purchase received its final approval with some operational restrictions from the Brazilian regulatory agency. Services were integrated but both companies continued to operate independently for some weeks. Integration started on October 17, 2012 when sales requested via Webjet's web-portal started to be redirected to Gol's site. However, on November 23, 2012 Webjet abruptly ceased to operate and all services were incorporated by Gol. The Webjet brand ceased to exist. 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.
|Boeing 737-700||27||—||42||104||144||Older 737-700 will be retired until 2018.|
|Boeing 737-800||92||10||36||150||186||3 aircraft being leased to Transavia
3 non-SFP 737-800 are in 189 seating.
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||—||120||TBA||Deliveries to start in 2018.
Includes 200 options; undetermined whether they’re for -800 or MAX. 
|Boeing 767-300ER||2||2007||2011||Both aircraft are disposed to Delta Air Lines|
Airline Affinity ProgramEdit
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, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Qatar Airways and TAP Air Portugal, 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.
Incidents and accidentsEdit
- On September 29, 2006, Flight 1907 operated by Boeing 737-800 SFP registration PR-GTD, disappeared from radar while flying over the central-western state of Mato Grosso en route from Manaus to Brasília and Rio de Janeiro-Galeão. The aircraft collided in mid-air with an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet, registration N600XL, near the town of Matupá, 470 miles (760 km) south of Manaus. The Gol aircraft broke up in mid-air and crashed in the Amazon jungle, leaving no survivors among its 154 occupants. The wreckage was found a day later. The Legacy jet landed safely at Cachimbo Airport, part of the Brigadeiro Velloso Test Range of the Brazilian Air Force, with damage to the tail and left winglet.
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...Gol, which translates as 'goal' in both Portuguese and Spanish in soccer-crazed Latin America,...
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- Former Brazilian Flagship Airline Bought 28 March 2007
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