Rapid Fleet Growth: GOL Wants 75 Boeing 737 MAXs By 2025

  • Airlines

The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aereas is accelerating its transition into a Boeing 737 MAX fleet. According to the airline’s management, the current plan is to have 75 B737 MAX aircraft by 2025. How will it do it? Let’s investigate further.

GOL aims to have 75 Boeing 737 MAX by 2025. Photo: Getty Images

GOL’s love of the 737 MAX

The Brazilian carrier is a super fan of the MAX family. Over and over again, the airline has shown its confidence in the aircraft, even becoming the first company worldwide to reactivate it on commercial flights following the MAX crisis.

GOL has one of the largest unfilled orders of Boeing worldwide. The airline had 95 firm orders for the acquisition of 737 MAX aircraft, of which 73 were orders for 737 MAX 8s and 22 orders were for 737 MAX 10s, according to the Brazilian customer.

At the end of 2021’s third quarter, GOL had a fleet of 129 Boeing 737 aircraft. It was composed of 114 NGs and 15 operational MAX.

In August, GOL announced a deal to acquire 28 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Paulo Kakinoff, GOL’s CEO, said,

“We are accelerating our fleet transformation plan in anticipation of the strong recovery of air travel in the post-pandemic scenario. The 737 MAX positions GOL to grow even more competitively with the expansion of routes to destinations, at the same time providing efficiency gains.”

GOL’s fleet plans going forward

GOL has an ambitious fleet transformation plan going into the future. During the airline’s investors call, Paulo Kakinoff explained that the carrier aims to have a 50-50% fleet by 2025 and a 75-25% by 2030. That is, half of its fleet will be MAX and half will be NG by 2025, and three in every four will be MAX by the end of the decade.

He added,

“Under the agreements, the company will end 2021 with 28 737 MAX-8 aircraft (20% of the total fleet). By the end of 2022, GOL expects to have 44 737 MAX-8 aircraft (32% of the total fleet). With current purchase commitments, the Company will meet its goal of a 75% 737 MAX fleet by 2030.”

In the meantime, GOL will continue rejecting the leasing contracts of its 737 NG aircraft. The airline will close the year with 18 B737-700 and 84 B737-800. By 2025, both subfleets will be reduced, and the airline will have only 12 B737-700 and 63 B737-800.

How did GOL fare in 2021’s 3Q?

During 2021’s third quarter, GOL carried 4.9 million passengers, still 50% below its pre-pandemic numbers. The airline had net operating revenues of 1.9 billion reais (approximately US$348 million).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GOL had a net loss of 2.5 billion reais during the quarter (approximately US$461 million).

Nevertheless, there has been a continued recovery in demand. GOL’s departures grew by 87.3% in the quarter, reaching 53% of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Additionally, adjusted EBITDA was 464.7 million reais, with a margin of 24.3%, “reflecting GOL’s successful sustainability efforts in balancing supply and demand.”

Finally, GOL is resuming its international connectivity. In November, it will resume its flights to Montevideo, Cancun, and Punta Cana; next month to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

What do you think of GOL’s fleet plans? Let us know in the comments below.

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