The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aereas has confirmed it will restart flying internationally on November 3rd. After more than a year and a half of shutting down its international connectivity, the airline will resume some operations. Let’s investigate further.
Where will it fly?
Currently, GOL is only operating domestic flights across Brazil. So far, in 2021, it has carried 7.4 million passengers, 56% fewer travelers than it had in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
GOL is currently the second most important operator in Brazil, after Azul. Nevertheless, it still has to reactivate the 30 international routes it had back in August 2019. That month, GOL offered 1,369 flights, with 249,642 seats available, per Cirium’s database.
Following an excruciating year and a half, GOL is ready to resume its international connectivity. The airline confirmed its plans to Simple Flying. GOL said,
“São Paulo-Montevideo (Uruguay) is the first international route to be resumed by GOL, on November 3, followed by Brasilia-Cancún (Mexico), on November 12, and São Paulo-Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), on November 13.”
What about Argentina and other destinations?
GOL used to fly a lot to Argentina. Back in August 2019, the airline had 695 monthly flights between Brazil and Argentina, with over 127,000 seats available.
Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed these plans. Argentina is very much closed at the moment. Currently, the Argentinian government allows the entrance of 1,700 Argentinians and residents per day. There’s no telling when the borders will open up again for international travelers.
Despite that, GOL is already looking to fly again into Argentina. The airline said,
“The route São Paulo-Buenos Aires (Aeroparque airport) is planned to start in October, and destinations such as Asunción (Paraguay), Lima (Peru), Mendoza, Miami (US), Rosario, and Santa Cruz de La Sierra (Bolivia), starting in December of this year. This planning is linked to improvements in favorable conditions, involving the reopening of the borders, the resumption of tourism activities, in addition to greater control over the spread of the epidemic in the countries where GOL operates.”
So, if the circumstances allow it, GOL’s first international route won’t be to Montevideo, Uruguay, but rather to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s like the airline said to Simple Flying, the route São Paulo-Montevideo is confirmed for November 3; it is official. In the meantime, São Paulo-Buenos Aires remains only a possibility.
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GOL believes the worst is behind
During the first half of 2021, GOL Linhas Aereas posted a net loss of US$414 million. The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted the Brazilian airline industry but, despite that, GOL is hopeful that the worst is behind.
Indeed, since posting its net loss, GOL has also announced an increase in its Boeing 737 MAX 8 order. The airline will acquire 28 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which will help replace 23 older 737-800 NGs by the end of 2022.
As Richard Lark, GOL’s CEO, said,
“Now that clearly that the worst portion of the crisis is behind us, we see several promising perspectives ahead. The company has navigated through the worst possible circumstances, and we are more than strong. We didn’t lose the opportunity to enhance our successful business model further. Now we are even leaner than we were before; we are more efficient.”
Have you been onboard GOL’s international flights? How would you describe the experience? Let us know in the comments.