GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A, Brazil’s low-fare, low-cost airline, plans to add six additional Boeing 737 aircraft to its fleet during the fourth quarter of 2004 (4Q04), two of which will be used to initiate the international flights to Buenos Aires (Argentina). GOL ended the third quarter with a fleet of 23 aircraft and the 4Q04 expansion will bring GOL’s total fleet size to 29 by year-end and permit GOL to increase the number of destinations served to 36, from its current 37. “GOL’s fleet expansion reflects the better-than-expected demand for passenger air travel in the domestic market and will provide new seat capacity for the expansion of flight operations to Argentina,” said Constantino de Oliveira Jr., GOL’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
This recent acquisition exceeds by two aircraft the Company’s projected fleet of 27 by year-end 2004. In the third quarter of 2004, the Company had an aircraft utilization of approximately 14 block hours per day (one of the highest for Boeing aircraft worldwide) and has a year-to-date load factor of over 70 percent. GOL currently operates 22 737-700/800 Next Generation aircraft and one 737-300s. The Company will be receiving four more 737-300s, under two-year operating leases in October and November. In December, GOL plans to add an additional two 737-700s to its fleet.
The expansion of GOL’s network will allow the addition of dozens of new departures. During 4Q04, GOL will begin offering service to six new cities: Uberlandia, Joinville, Foz de Iguacu, Caxias do Sul, Teresina and Buenos Aires.
“We are excited about our continued growth,” added Mr. Constantino de Oliveira Junior. “These new flights reflect our commitment to expand our network and meet passenger demand for GOL’s service, while continuing to drive profitability.”