Reopening Borders: GOL Sets Date For Brazil-US Flight Resumption

The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aereas has just announced when it will resume its direct flights between Brazil and the United States. After more than a year and a half without flying internationally, GOL is finally bringing back its transborder operations. Let’s investigate further.

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GOL plans to resume its flights to the United States next year. Photo: Getty Images.

GOL will be back

GOL has been focusing on the Brazilian domestic market for the last few months. That meant it shut down its international connectivity to countries like Argentina, Mexico, and the United States (among many others).

Nevertheless, the airline’s management has seen enough development and recovery to outline a new international schedule. In November, GOL is resuming back its flights to three destinations, Montevideo, Cancún, and Punta Cana. In December, GOL is flying back to arguably its most important international destination, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

GOL is scheduling 184 international flights in December. That number represents an 86.6% decrease compared to its pre-pandemic capacity. Nonetheless, it is a sign of optimism in South America.

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GOL used to fly to Miami and Orlando. Photo: Getty Images

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Back in the USA

In December 2019, GOL flew from Manaus and Brasilia to Miami and Orlando. The carrier had 102 scheduled flights to these couple of US cities.

Despite the US lifting travel restrictions to international travelers coming from Brazil earlier this week, GOL won’t be flying to Miami and Orlando shortly. Instead, these two leisure destinations will receive GOL’s flights back on 13 and 17 May 2022, respectively, as reported by local media outlet Aeroin.

So, why wait until May next year? Paulo Kakinoff, president and CEO of GOL, said the following during the airline’s investors call earlier this week,

“So the United States, most likely, the routes will be added to our international portfolio by the second quarter next year. And this is because, despite the borders being now open to the Brazilians, the ticket purchase and the whole trip cost, including hotels, card expense, are pretty expensive from a Brazilian perspective. The real has devaluated quite significantly along the last quarter.”

He added that GOL’s passengers are willing to fly to the United States, but the trip has become quite expensive at the moment.

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American Airlines has deployed a considerable capacity in Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

Nonetheless, there’s the American Airlines alliance

Even if GOL is not currently flying to the United States, it is selling tickets to this country via American Airlines. Both carriers have a codeshare agreement and have linked their networks and loyalty programs.

In the last few months, American Airlines has deployed a considerable capacity increase in Brazil. Currently, American Airlines has scheduled 222 flights between the United States and Brazil.

The most important route connects São Paulo and Miami, with more than a daily flight. But American also connects Dallas and New York with São Paulo and Miami with Rio de Janeiro.

Paulo Kakinoff said,

We have a partnership with American Airlines, which has already deployed a considerable capacity increase for the following three months. So we have decided to support that investment by selling the American Airlines tickets in our channels, as we have done already since April 2020. Through that package, we are simultaneously attending to our customers and supporting the additional capacity increase. We believe that this is the best strategy to cope with the current demand, and then we will resume our own flight from Brasilia to Florida, which is a market not served by American.”

What do you think of GOL’s plans to resume its connectivity to the US? Let us know in the comments below. 

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