Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes

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Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes
GOL logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations2001
AOC #156 - November 5, 2019[1]
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programSmiles
SubsidiariesMAP Linhas Aéreas
Fleet size142
Traded asB3GOLL4
HeadquartersRio de Janeiro, Brazil[2]
Key people
  • Paulo Kakinoff (President and CEO)
  • Constantino de Oliveira (Founder)
  • Constantino de Oliveira Junior (Co-Founder/Chairman)
  • Richard Lark Jr. (CFO)
  • Celso Ferrer Jr. (COO)
RevenueIncrease US$ 3.0 billion (2018)
Net incomeDecrease - US$ 200.8 million (2018)
Employees16 thousand
The airline's previous logo used from 2001-2015

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A ("Gol Intelligent Airlines S.A." also known as VRG Linhas Aéreas S/A) is a Brazilian low-cost airline based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[3] According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), between January and December 2019 Gol had 37.7% of the domestic and 3.8% of the international market shares in terms of passengers per kilometer flown,[4] making it the largest domestic and third largest international airline in Brazil. The company slogan is Portuguese: Nova Gol. Novos tempos no ar., "The new Gol. New times in the air."

Gol competes in Brazil and other South American countries primarily with LATAM Brasil, and Azul. It also owns the brand Varig, although now that name refers to what is informally known as the "new" Varig, founded in 2006, not to the extinct "old" Varig airline, founded in 1927.

Gol operates a growing domestic and international scheduled network. Its main hubs are São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport and Tancredo Neves International Airport near Belo Horizonte. Gol also has focus operations at Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport, São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, Salgado Filho International Airport in Porto Alegre Gol refers to itself as GOL Intelligent Airlines[5] (GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes in Portuguese) as a slogan. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as "GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A."[6]

The company's name is a Brazilian Portuguese word borrowing from the English word "goal" from Association football.[7]

Celso Ferrer will be taking over as CEO of the Brazilian airline by 1st July 2022. [8]


Early years[edit]

The Boeing 737-700 airplane used in GOL's second commercial flight, showing the company's brand.
Gol ticket counter at Brasilia International Airport

The airline was established in 2000 and started operations on January 15, 2001 with a flight from Brasília to São Paulo.[9] It is a subsidiary of the Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Áurea, based in Minas Gerais state, which has other transportation interests, including Brazil's largest long-distance bus company. Grupo Áurea in turn is owned by the Constantino family. Constantino Júnior was responsible for building the business next to the vice president of the company, David Barioni.[10][11]

In 2007, Gol was owned by AeroPar Participações (75.5%), Venture (17.6%), American International Group (5.4%) and Air France-KLM (1,5%).[12] The growth in GOL's stock price made the Constantino family a member of the Forbes magazine billionaire list in 2005.

In 2007, Gol was supposed to begin a code-share agreement with TAP Portugal, opening the European market to the Brazilian airline, and the internal Brazilian market to the Portuguese airline (the largest foreign airline in Brazil). Instead, TAP Portugal chose to cooperate with TAM Airlines.[13]

On February 24, 2010 Gol announced it was in "advanced talks" to join the Oneworld alliance,[14] which would allow it to catch up with rival TAM, a recent member of Star Alliance. However, on October 6, 2010, the airline announced a change in position by denying any interest in joining an alliance, preferring to remain independent and to establish a "patchwork of code-sharing agreements."[15] Following this trend, on September 28, 2011 Gol and Aerolíneas Argentinas announced the intention to implement a codeshare, feeder and frequent flyer programs agreement on a date yet to be announced and pending approval from the governments of Brazil and Argentina.[16]

On March 18, 2010 Gol unveiled the expansion of its maintenance base located at Belo Horizonte/Confins - Tancredo Neves International Airport. Originally opened in 2006 with the capacity to service 60 aircraft per year (mainly Boeing 737 and 767), the expansion allowed Gol to increase the number to 120.[17] Gol later started also using the base to service aircraft from other airlines, and as of 2013 it also serviced airplanes from Azul Brazilian Airlines and Copa Airlines.[18][19]

On December 23, 2010, Gol Airlines started an operational partnership with Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas. The agreement was rescinded on July 31, 2014, when Passaredo established a similar interline agreement with TAM Airlines instead.[20]

On December 7, 2011, Gol announced the intention of Delta Air Lines to purchase 3% of its shares.[21] The agreement also includes the creation of mutual code-share flights, alignment of frequent flyer benefits and transfer of GOL's Boeing 767s lease agreements to Delta.[22]

On October 1, 2012, Gol confirmed a firm order of 60 Boeing 737 MAXs. References did not specify the type of MAX aircraft.[23][24]

On October 6, 2012, Gol started seasonal operations to Miami and Orlando, available for Smiles account holders and originating in Brazil only. Technically, they are considered charter flights, although they are not necessarily part of an inclusive tour package; the use of miles or miles plus money is mandatory, as well as a minimum 7-day stay at the destination.[25]

In February 2014, Air France–KLM announced it would invest $100 million in Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes in advance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.[26]

Some disagreement exists as to whether Gol is a low-cost carrier. In 2014, Gol was ranked the second best low-cost airline in South America after Azul.[27] Gol refers to itself as a low-cost carrier, but it is increasingly not regarded as such. According to UFRJ specialist Elton Fernandes, "GOL's costs are not very different from those of TAM Airlines. People are accustomed to calling Gol low-cost, but Gol is not that. It is not even low-fare anymore."[28]

On 26 September 2019, Delta announced that it will exit its minority stake in GOL, following Delta acquiring 20% stake of LATAM Airlines Group.[29]

Purchase of Varig[edit]

Logo of the VARIG brand during purchasement

On March 28, 2007 Gol officially purchased part of the assets of VARIG - VRG Linhas Aéreas, informally known as the "new Varig," a new company that owned the Varig brand, for US$320 million from Volo Group and MatlinPatterson Global Opportunies hedge fund. At that time, the "old Varig" was under bankruptcy protection. Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA posted a first quarter loss of 3.5 million Reais (2 million US dollars) after revenues of 1.6 billion Reais (one billion US dollars)

Gol announced that the Varig brand would continue doing business operating as such, rather than its official name VRG Linhas Aéreas.[30] The transaction, via its GTI subsidiary, required a US$98 million cash payment, with the balance through the allocation of non-voting shares to VARIG Logística and Volo, which had acquired VARIG in June 2006 for US$24 million.[31] The transaction did not involve the original airline, informally known as "old Varig," which continued to exist until its own bankruptcy in mid-2010 under the name Flex Linhas Aéreas.

In 2009 Gol was merged into VRG Linhas Aéreas. VRG Linhas Aéreas thus became an airline that operates two brands: Gol and Varig, although in reality flights are operated only under Gol flight numbers. Initially, the Varig brand operated to medium-haul scheduled and charter international destinations within South America and to the Caribbean with Boeing 737-700's configured in two classes, and to long-haul charter international destinations in North America, Europe and Africa with Boeing 767-300ERs configured in economy only. The latter were also used in wet-lease operations.[32] This scheme was later dropped. The brand Gol operates most of the flights of the network, and had aircraft configured in all-economy class, used for scheduled domestic and international operations within South America.

Because of contractual obligations, between 2006 and 2009 the "new Varig" (VRG Linhas Aéreas) was obliged to purchase a minimum of 140 hours/month of services from the "old Varig" (Flex Linhas Aéreas). Therefore, at that time, some of VRG Linhas Aéreas flights operated with Gol flight numbers but were actually flown with chartered aircraft from Flex Linhas Aéreas. The agreement ceased before the bankruptcy of Flex on August 20, 2010.[33]

Varig Boeing 737-700 with the final revised livery.
Varig Boeing 737-800 with the final revised livery.
Varig Boeing 767-300 with the final revised livery.

Purchase of Webjet Linhas Aéreas[edit]

On July 9, 2011, VRG Linhas Aéreas, owner of the brands Gol and Varig, announced the intention to purchase full control of WebJet Linhas Aéreas.[34] The purchase contract was signed on August 2, 2011.[35] On October 10, 2012 the purchase received its final approval with some operational restrictions from the Brazilian regulatory agency.[36] Services were integrated but both companies continued to operate independently for some weeks.[37][38] Integration started on October 17, 2012 when sales requested via Webjet's web-portal started to be redirected to GOL's site.[39] However, on November 23, 2012 Webjet abruptly ceased to operate and all services were incorporated by GOL. The Webjet brand ceased to exist.[37][38] Gol also announced its intention to return all of Webjet's Boeing 737-300s to lessors until the end of the first quarter of 2013. There was no mention to the fate of Webjet's 737-800s.[40]

Webjet Boeing 737-300.

Partnership with TwoFlex[edit]

On April 12, 2019, Gol announced an adapted Essential Air Service partnership with TwoFlex in which the latter would operate feeder services on behalf of Gol in the States of Amazonas, Pará and Mato Grosso using the Cessna 208 Caravan. The flights are marketed by Gol in its reservation platform but operated by TwoFlex and integrated into the network of Gol. This partnership greatly increased the number of Gol destinations in these three States.[41] However, on 14 January 2020 Azul Brazilian Airlines signed an agreement to purchase Twoflex.[42] On March 27, 2020 the Brazilian regulatory bodies gave the nihil obstat to the purchase[43] and sale of flights started on April 14, 2020.[44] thus ending the partnership.

Purchase of MAP Linhas Aéreas[edit]

On June 8, 2021 Gol Linhas Aéreas announced the purchase of MAP Linhas Aéreas from Voepass Linhas Aéreas. The transaction included 26 slots at São Paulo–Congonhas Airport belonging to MAP and Voepass. The Amazonian operations of MAP would be transferred to Voepass as much as the aircraft of the latter.[45]


Codeshare agreements[edit]

Gol has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[46]


Current fleet[edit]

As of February 2022, Gol operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet, consisting of the following aircraft:[49][50]

Gol fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Y+ Y Total
Boeing 737-700 21 42 104 144
Boeing 737-800 89 36 150 186
Boeing 737 MAX 8 32 96[51][52] 36 144 180 180 configuration used for international services
186 configuration used for domestic services.[53]
Order with 100 options and 100 purchase rights.[54]
42 144 186
Vertical Aerospace VA-X4 250[55] TBA
Total 142 346

Former fleet[edit]

Gol formerly operated the following aircraft:

Gol former fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Boeing 737-300 15 2004 2011
Boeing 767-200ER 1 2010 2011
Boeing 767-300ER 4 2009 2011

Airline Affinity Program[edit]

Smiles is GOL/Varig's Frequent-flyer program since July 20, 2006. Points can be used for services from GOL/Varig, and partners Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, Copa Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Qatar Airways and TAP Air Portugal, including flights, upgrades, holidays, hotel stays and car rentals. Smiles was part of the "new Varig" package bought by GOL, which honored all miles and eventually became its own frequent-flyer program. Previously Gol had no such program.[citation needed]

On a study conducted in 2011, Smiles ranked third among 24 chosen frequent flyer programs, with 97.1% success of requests made.[56]

In 2013, Smiles was spun off as an independent company [57] eventually leading to its IPO at BOVESPA in April 2013.[58]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Empresas Aéreas - Consulta". ANAC (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  2. ^ Gol. "Política de Privacidade". Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  3. ^ 2010 CALENDÁRIO DE EVENTOS CORPORATIVOS Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine." Gol Transportes Aéreos. Retrieved on February 14, 2010. "Endereço da Sede: Praça Comandante Lineu Gomes, s/n, portaria 3, Aeroporto, CEP 04626-900 – São Paulo - SP"
  4. ^ "Relatório de demanda e oferta do transporte aéreo". Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  5. ^ Home Page (International), Gol Transportes Aéreos. January 4, 2007. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine," NYSE Euronext
  7. ^ Clendenning, Alan (2005-02-06). "Brazilian airline flying high doing everything on the cheap". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved 2017-02-26. ...Gol, which translates as 'goal' in both Portuguese and Spanish in soccer-crazed Latin America,...
  8. ^ Reuters (2022-05-16). "Brazilian airline Gol's Ferrer to take over as CEO". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  9. ^ "Editorial". Revista Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (in Portuguese). April 2012. p. 12.
  10. ^ "David Barioni". IstoE. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  11. ^ "Chamaram o piloto". Exame. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 87.
  13. ^ "Agenzia stampa del settore aeronautico, elicotteristico, aerospaziale e della difesa". Avionews. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  14. ^ "AMR in alliance talks with China Eastern-CFO". Reuters. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  15. ^ Wisnefski, Stephen (6 October 2010). "Brazil's GOL Doesn't See Benefit of Joining Global Alliance". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  16. ^ Andrade, Artur Luiz (28 September 2011). "Gol e Aerolíneas Argentinas terão code-share" (in Portuguese). Panrotas. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  17. ^ Takar, Téo (18 March 2010). "Gol dobra capacidade do centro de manutenção de Confins" (in Portuguese). Valor Online. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
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  25. ^ "Voos Smiles para os EUA" (in Portuguese). Gol. September 14, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
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  27. ^ "Best Low-Cost Airlines in South America". Skytrax. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  28. ^ "Gol passa a cobrar pelo refrigerante e pela batatinha". Estadão (in Portuguese). Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  29. ^ Josephs, Phil LeBeau,Leslie (2019-09-26). "Delta is buying 20% of LATAM, Latin America's largest airline". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  30. ^ Former Brazilian Flagship Airline Bought 28 March 2007
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  32. ^ Komatsu, Alberto (18 March 2010). "Varig vai a Europa e aos EUA com voo fretado" (in Portuguese). Valor Online. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  33. ^ Niemeyer, Felipe (20 August 2010). "Falência da Flex, Rio Sul e Nordeste: Trip deve assumir" (in Portuguese). Panrotas. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  34. ^ Bemfeito, Fabíola (July 8, 2011). "Gol compra Webjet por R$311 milhões" (in Portuguese). Panrotas. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  35. ^ Komatsu, Alberto (August 3, 2011). "Gol e Webjet assinam contrato de compra" (in Portuguese). Valor Online. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  36. ^ Máximo, Wellton (October 10, 2012). "Cade aprova compra da Webjet mas impõe restrições à Gol" (in Portuguese). Agência Brasil. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  37. ^ a b Andrade, Artur Luiz (July 11, 2011). "Após aprovação da compra, Gol não usará marca Webjet" (in Portuguese). Panrotas. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  38. ^ a b Nogueira, Danielle (October 6, 2012). "Último voo da Webjet está marcado para julho de 2013". O Globo (in Portuguese). Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  39. ^ Teixeira Alves, Danilo (October 17, 2012). "Integração entre Gol e Webjet começa pelo site" (in Portuguese). Panrotas. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  40. ^ Aguilhar, Ligia (November 23, 2012). "Gol anuncia encerramento das atividades da Webjet e demite 850" (in Portuguese). Editora Globo. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
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  42. ^ "Azul faz acordo para compra da Two Flex por R$ 123 milhões". Panrotas (in Portuguese). 14 January 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
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  45. ^ "GOL terá todos os slots de MAP e Passaredo no Aeroporto de Congonhas". Aeroin (in Portuguese). 8 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  46. ^ "Companhias Aéreas Parceiras". Gol Linhas Aéreas. Retrieved 2022-04-20.
  47. ^ "American Airlines announces partnership with Brazil's GOL Airlines, beefs up Miami flights". Miami Herald. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  48. ^ "Avianca and Gol confirm codeshare agreement". CAPA. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  49. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World: 7. October 2019.
  50. ^ "GOL Transportes Aéreos Fleet Details and History". February 2, 2022.
  51. ^ "Boeing: Commercial". www.boeing.com. Retrieved 2022-01-22.
  52. ^ "GOL Accelerates its Fleet Transformation from Boeing 737 NG to Boeing 737 MAX". AVIATOR. 2021-08-03. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  53. ^ "Passagens Aéreas na GOL". GOL. Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  54. ^ "GOL anuncia configuração interna para seus Boeing 737 MAX-8" (in Spanish). 29 March 2017.
  55. ^ GOL Orders 250 Electric Flying Taxis From Lessor Avolon Simple Flying
  56. ^ "Value Airlines Offer Best Reward Seat Availability, British and United Improve Most Among Majors" (PDF). IdeaWorks. May 17, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  57. ^ "Smiles' Investor Relations Website". Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  58. ^ Souza, Beatriz (April 29, 2013). "Ações da Smiles sobem 9,2% em estréia na Bolsa" [Smiles' stocks surge 9.2% in the first day at the stock exchange]. exame.com. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  59. ^ "Accident description N600XL and PR-GTD". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  60. ^ Georgilidakis, Spyros. "Ground Collision in Brazil - GOL 737 and Azul E135". Mentour Pilot. Mentour Pilot. Retrieved May 6, 2022.

External links[edit]