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Gol Transportes Aéreos ("Gol Air Transport," ) is a Brazilian airline based in São Paulomarker, Brazilmarker. Gol is the second largest airline in Brazil with 38.6% of the Brazilian domestic market and 12.2% of the international market of flights from and to Brazil as of September 2007. It owns the former national airline Varig and operates a growing domestic and international scheduled network. Its main hubs are São Paulo's Congonhas International Airportmarker, Rio de Janeiro's Galeão International Airportmarker and Brasília International Airport - Presidente Juscelino Kubitschekmarker. Gol also has focus operations at Rio de Janeiro's Santos Dumont Airportmarker, São Paulo's Guarulhos International Airportmarker and Porto Alegremarker's Salgado Filho International Airportmarker.

Gol refers to itself as Gol Intelligent Airlines (Gol Linhas aéreas inteligentes in Portuguese) as a slogan. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchangemarker as "GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A." "Gol", in Portuguese and Spanish, translates into "goal" in English.

History



The airline was established in 2000 and started operations on January 15, 2001. It is a subsidiary of the Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Áurea, which has other transport interests including Brazil's largest long-distance bus company. Grupo Áurea in turn is owned by the Constantino family. As of 2004, Gol had carried 11,600,000 passengers, and constituted 20% of the Brazilian air travel market.

On June 24, 2004 Gol launched simultaneous initial public offerings on the New York and São Paulo stock exchanges. It is now owned by AeroPar Participações (77%), Venture (17.6%) and American International Group (5.4%) and employs 5,456 staff (at March 2007). 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). TAP Portugal instead chose to cooperate with TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas).

On March 28, 2007 Gol officially purchased part of the remains of VARIG, VRG Linhas Aéreas or informally known as "new Varig", a new airline that owned the brand Varig, for US$320 million from Volo Group and MatlinPatterson Global Opportunies hedge fund. At that time "old Varig" was under bankruptcy protection.

Gol announced that the brand VARIG would continue doing business and operating as Varig rather than its official name VRG Linhas Aéreas. 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. The transaction did not involve the original airline, informally known as "old Varig", which continues to exist under the name Flex Linhas Aéreas.

In 2009 Gol was merged into VRG Linhas Aéreas. VRG Linhas Aéreas thus is an airline that operates two brands: Gol and Varig, although in reality flights are operated only under Gol flight numbers.

Because of contractual obligations since 2006 "new Varig" (VRG Linhas Aéreas) is obliged to purchase a minimum of 140 hours/month of services from "old Varig" (Flex Linhas Aéreas). Therefore, presently, some of VRG Linhas Aéreas flights operated with Gol flight numbers are actually flown with chartered aircraft from Flex Linhas Aéreas.

Destinations



Fleet

The Gol Transportes Aéreos fleet consits of the following aircraft (at 30 September 2009):

Gol Transportes Aéreos Fleet
Aircraft In
Service
Orders Routes Notes
Boeing 737-300 10 0 Medium haul
Regional
3 for BRA Transportes Aéreos
Replacement aircraft: Boeing 737-700
Boeing 737-700 42 31 Medium haul
Regional
Replacing: Boeing 737-300
Will get new cabin in 2010
Boeing 737-800 60 150 Short-long haul Will get new cabin in 2010
Total 112 181


Incidents and accidents



On 29 September 2006, Flight 1907marker, a Boeing 737-800 SFP with registration PR-GTD disappeared from radar while flying over the center-western state of Mato Grosso en route from Manausmarker to Brasíliamarker to Rio de Janeiromarker. The aircraft collided in mid-air with an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet, near the town of Matupá, south of Manausmarker. The Legacy jet landed safely at a Brazilian Air Force base with damage to the tail and left winglet. Gol has confirmed that 148 passengers and 6 crew members were on board. The wreckage was found in the Amazon, and there were no survivors.

Gallery

Image:Gol_B737-300_Curitiba.jpg|A Gol 737-322Image:AviãoGol.jpg|A Gol 737-8BK

External links



References


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