The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aéreas is looking to resume several international flights from Fortaleza International Airport (FOR) and other northeast Brazil airports, including Salvador, Recife, Natal, and Maceió, connecting these cities with Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery Airfield (AEP).
After a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GOL is ready to restore the international connectivity from the Brazilian northeast, the airline said in a statement. Starting on August 20, the first international route to be resumed will be Fortaleza-Buenos Aires, with a weekly service on Saturdays. Then, on December 3, other cities in the northeast, Natal (NAT), Maceió (MCZ), Recife (REC), and Salvador (SSA), will also have a weekly round trip to the Argentine capital.
Bruno Balan, GOL’s manager of Strategic Planning, said the airline is fulfilling its role as the largest airline in the country by serving the main Brazilian markets, such as the Northeastern capitals, transforming the region into a gateway from Brazil to the rest of the world and offering Northeastern customers more options and agility in their international travel. He added,
“Buenos Aires is an important tourist destination in South America, and now GOL’s Northeastern customers once again have the opportunity to fly non-stop to Jorge Newbery Airfield, which is only 7.5 km from downtown Buenos Aires. Being able to shorten the distance between the Northeast and Argentina for GOL customers with our flights is a reason for great joy.”
GOL currently serves Buenos Aires from Florianópolis (FLN), Rio de Janeiro Galeão (GIG), and São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), having restarted the routes in December 2021.
GOL Linhas Aéreas is looking to resume several international flights from Fortaleza International Airport. Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying.
The codeshare with Aerolíneas Argentinas
The market between Argentina and Brazil is one of the most important air bridges in the Americas. According to data by Cirium, there are 187 weekly flights between both countries. To serve the demand in this segment, the carriers GOL and Aerolíneas Argentinas recently deepened their codeshare agreement by increasing the daily connectivity between both countries. The two airlines control around 60% of the market share.
GOL’s partnership with Aerolíneas Argentinas allows its passengers to have more connectivity to Argentina’s interior, with more ample options to fly from the Northeast of Brazil to cities such as Ushuaia, Bariloche, and El Calafate, among others.
In the first half of 2022, GOL’s net operating revenue reached 3.2 billion reais (around US$620 million). Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying.
GOL in 2022
In the first half of 2022, GOL’s net operating revenue reached 3.2 billion reais (around US$620 million), exceeding by 215% and 3% the amounts recorded in the second quarters of 2021 and 2019, respectively. Nonetheless, despite having fully rebounded its operating revenue without recovering the pre-pandemic passenger numbers, GOL had a net loss of around US$541 million this past six months. Like many other carriers in the region, GOL was heavily impacted by rising fuel prices, economic uncertainty, and local currency devaluation.
Going into the future, the airline remains cautious due to global uncertainty. Nonetheless, GOL expects to receive an additional ten Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2022, increasing its share of MAX in the fleet from 24% to 33%. It will close the year with a sub-fleet of 44 MAX 8 planes.
Celso Ferrer, GOL’s new CEO, said the airline is confident that the increase in operating fleet utilization, which generated 27.5% productivity gains this quarter, combined with the fuel savings from the new generation 737 MAX aircraft, will enable it to expand its leadership in unit costs and maintain disciplined growth of the offer for the second half of the year.