GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, recorded a 4.5% year-on-year increase in demand on its total route network in February, accompanied by a load factor of 71.2%.
Demand on the domestic market grew by 4.4% over February 2010, despite the fact that the Carnival holiday was in the first week of March in 2011 rather than at the beginning of February, as traditionally occurs. This resulted in an early end to Brazil’s summer vacation high season, making February less seasonal than the same period in 2010. On the other hand, March will benefit from the creation of a small holiday period during the first week, fueling air traffic in this period. In comparison with the previous month, demand fell by 18.8% (10.1% down in terms of daily demand) due to: (i) January’s seasonality (summer high season); (ii) the reduced number of operational days between the two months (28 days in February versus 31 in January); and (iii) the absence of Carnival, making February less seasonal in comparison with last year.
International demand climbed by 5.9% year-on-year, thanks to the economic stability in Latin America, in addition to the following factors: (i) the launch of new international destinations between the two periods (Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, Bridgetown, in Barbados, and Buenos Aires/Aeroparque, in Argentina); (ii) the intensification of international operations with partner airlines through code-share agreements; and (iii) the depreciation of the Real against the U.S. dollar, favoring international tourism. In comparison with the month before, demand fell by 17.8%, also mainly due to January’s seasonality and the lower number of operational days in comparison with January and December. Average daily demand recorded a decline of only 9.0%.
Supply increased by 3.8% year-on-year, mainly due to: (i) increased productivity (more than 13.2 block hours/day in February/11 versus approximately 12.9 in February 2010); (ii) the replacement of B737-300s with B737-800s, which have more seats; and (iii) the reactivation of B767 aircraft for international charter flights. In comparison with the previous month, supply fell by 13.6% due to
the end of the high season in January and the reduced number of operational days (28 in February versus 31 in January). In daily average terms, supply fell by only 4.4%.
For yet another consecutive month, GOL continued to implement its responsible capacity management strategy, with upturns of 3.8% in supply and 4.5% in demand. The aim is to increase supply by improving productivity without the need to add more aircraft. As a result, the Company maximizes the use of its assets, thereby boosting profitability.
Load Factor and Yield
GOL’s total load factor came to 71.2% in February (0.5 p.p. up year-on-year and 4.4 p.p. down on the month before) and yield exceeded 19.00 cents (R$).