GOL Carries Competitor’s Luggage Freeing Space On LATAM For Vaccines

Last week, GOL and LATAM struck a deal to allow the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Brazilian State of Paraná. Both carriers had scheduled flights between Sao Paulo and Curitiba right about the same time, so GOL transported LATAM’s pieces of baggage, allowing LATAM to carry 2,700 kilograms of COVID-19 vaccines.

GOL Boeing 737-800 Getty
GOL transported the luggage of LATAM’s flight LA3439, allowing LATAM to carry the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Getty Images.

How does this deal come about?

On January 18, LATAM had an issue. The South American company had to transport 70 boxes of COVID-19 vaccines after receiving the Brazilian Government’s authorization. But it also had to transport 500 kilograms of luggage, belonging to the passengers traveling from Sao Paulo to Curitiba. It just couldn’t do both at the same time.

Brazil recently started the COVID-19 vaccination. The three main carriers, Azul, GOL, and LATAM, are joining efforts to distribute the vaccine throughout Brazil’s enormous geography. It is a monumental task due to Brazil’s extent, the lack of airport infrastructure, and many more reasons. Cooperation is needed.

LATAM Brazil’s airport coordinators in Sao Paulo came with an idea. They negotiated with GOL Linhas Aereas and the airport authorities to share the load.

Christian Tarifa Ruiz, LATAM’s coordinator at Guarulhos International Airport, said,

“With the liberation of weight and room, LATAM would destinate 70 boxes with the COVID-19 vaccine to the capital city in Paraná. We transported a load of 2,700 kilograms.”

The Brazilian airlines are helping in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Photo: Getty Images

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Did the luggage arrive on time?

One of the most annoying things that can happen to a passenger is when the airline loses the luggage. LATAM Brazil avoided that uncertainty last week.

GOL’s flight G31214 between Sao Paulo and Curitiba departed at 17:30 local time, landing one hour later. Meanwhile, LATAM’s flight LA3439, carrying the vaccines, left São Paulo at 17:55, landing in Curitiba at 18:50.

The luggage arrived 20 minutes before the passengers. In a statement, GOL said,

“The two companies are honored to participate in this important task for the Brazilian people. We reassure our compromise to collaborate with the Government during the national plan of immunization against COVID-19.”

Later on, GOL also transported vaccines

Later that day, GOL Linhas Aereas also received the Government’s approval to transport the COVID-19 vaccine.

Onboard flight G31250, GOL carried 36 boxes, worth 1,069 kilograms, of COVID-19 vaccines to Curitiba. It departed at 21:55 and landed at 23:10, according to local media outlet Passageiro de Primeira.

GOL shared a video on Twitter talking about the shared task with LATAM. “The cooperation was vital because we have the same goal: to deliver the vaccine in Brazil,” said Rodrigo Marinho, LATAM’s coordinator.

In the last few days, many COVID-19 vaccine shipments have been arriving in Brazil. For instance, last week, Azul Linhas Aereas flew to India and brought two million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. The airline used an Airbus A330neo to travel between Bombay and Brazil. Last week, Emirates also flew a Boeing 777-300ER between Bombay and Sao Paulo via Dubai. Emirates transported the first lot of Astra Zeneca vaccines that arrived in Brazil.

What do you think of LATAM and GOL’s collaboration? Let us know in the comments.