Brazil Airline Gol announced it will equip its new Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft with blended winglets to reduce the company’s fuel costs and improve airplane performance during take-off and landing on short runways.
Additional blended winglet benefits include, according to the firm, reduced engine maintenance costs, quieter and more environmentally friendly operations, and a high-tech image.
As Gol operates its 737NGs at one of the highest utilization rates in the industry, an average of 14 block hours per day, the company expects the blended winglets will save the company approximately 3% to 4% per aircraft annually in its fuel requirements.
"The Gol brand is synonymous with innovation and value in the Brazilian domestic airline market," says Aviation Partners Boeing Vice President of Sales, Patrick LaMoria.
"Blended winglet technology will help Gol keep operating costs low while maximizing flexibility and payload capacity, even out of the more challenging airports in its rapidly growing route system."
Gol has started sales for two new destinations: Cordoba and Rosario, both in Argentina. Flights are confirmed to begin to Cordoba on January 8 and Rosario on January 11.
Gol will offer two different flight options to Cordoba, one leaving from Guarulhos airport in São Paulo – with stops in Curitiba (Paraná state), Brazil, and Asuncion, Paraguay.
The second flight, departing from Galeão airport in Rio de Janeiro, will stop in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul). Flights to Rosario will also depart from Galeão airport, stopping in Porto Alegre.
The busy company has also begun selling tickets for Montevideo, Uruguay. The inaugural flight is confirmed for January 1st, 2006.
Gol will offer daily flights departing from Guarulhos airport in São Paulo at 9:00 PM, with a stop in Porto Alegre. Returning flights – Montevideo to São Paulo – will depart Montevideo at 6:15 AM, arriving in Guarulhos at 9:30 AM.
"Starting operations to Montevideo will provide more South American passengers access to high quality, technologically advanced and safe air transportation at the lowest fares available in the market," says Tarcísio Gargioni, vice-president of Marketing and Services at Gol.
With a population of 3.4 million, Uruguay is the third most frequented South American destination by Brazilians flying to neighboring countries. In 2003, approximately 251,000 passengers flew between Brazil and Uruguay.
The country is a member of the Mercosur (the South American trade block, comprised of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) with strong meat and leather industries.
"Gol is always working to expand the number of destinations we offer to our customers, but we also aim to increase the number of passengers traveling between Brazil and its neighboring countries," adds Gargioni.
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes – www.voegol.com.br