Gol files for bankruptcy protection, LATAM eyes take-over of aircraft
Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aéreas has applied for bankruptcy protection in the US, the so-called Chapter 11. The airline is facing severe financial difficulties due to a slump in passenger demand during the pandemic and late deliveries of new Boeing B737MAXs, which it needed to boost growth and meet the increase of post-pandemic demand.
The airline is now working on securing additional funding from its shareholders, while at the same time restructure its costs and organisation. A first initial investment has now been approved by a US bankruptcy judge, which will enable the airline to continue to pay for the leases of its aircraft.
The financial struggles of Gol haven't gone unnoticed by rival LATAM Airlines as it has approached lessors of Gol-aircraft and signaled its interest to take-over leases. In total, LATAM is considering to take-over the leases of up to 25 Boeing B737s, which will help the airline to boost its fleet in the short term while it awaits delivery of new Airbus A320neo-family aircraft. A switch of customer would also benefit the lessors as they will have a more secure customer for their aircraft.
Gol was founded in 2000 and commenced operations in 2001. The low-cost airline is based at Rio de Janeiro and is serving more than 75 destinations, both domestic and international. Its current fleet is made-up of fifteen Boeing B737-700s, six B737-800BCFs, 73 B737-800s, and 45 B737-8s. Gol has open orders with Boeing for 86 additional MAXs.
Photo by Anton Homma.