Brazilian Airline Gol received its first Next Generation 737-800 aircraft developed per Gol’s request with short runway landing and takeoff capabilities.
The 737-800 is the first in Gol’s order for 101 aircraft from Boeing, scheduled for delivery between 2006 and 2012. This is the largest agreement ever signed between the North American aircraft manufacturer and a Latin American airline.
The new 737 will be able to operate at the Santos Dumont Airport, in Rio de Janeiro, which has one of the shortest runways in the world (1,323 meters) and is one of the busiest in Brazil. The short-field performance changes were developed starting in 2004 in response to Gol’s needs at Santos Dumont airstrip in Rio de Janeiro.
That 4,300-foot runway is short compared to other runways and could not accommodate larger airplanes at higher approach speeds with full payloads.
Gol’s new Next Generation aircraft are equipped with winglets, a technology that increases flight speed by 12%, reduces noise during takeoff and affords fuel savings of up to 3% per year.
When Gol’s first 737-800 NG with design enhancements lands at the Santos Dumont Airport, it will be the first landing of an aircraft developed specifically for a short runway. The aircraft follows all international safety rules and was certified by U.S. and Brazilian authorities.
"Boeing has worked with Gol to enhance the 737 to add value to their operations. Our partnership drove development of these enhancements that will benefit not only our product line, but many airlines around the world," said John Wojick, Vice President of Sales, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 737 design enhancements allow operators to fly increased payload in and out of airports with runways less than 5,000 feet long. The design enhancements include a two-position tail skid that enables reduced approach speeds, sealed leading-edge slats that provide increased lift during takeoff, and increased flight spoiler deflection on the ground that improves takeoff and landing performance.
To date, 11 customers have ordered the short-field performance package for more than 250 airplanes. In addition to Gol, Alaska Airlines, Air Europe, Air India, Egyptair, GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), Hapagfly, Japan Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Sky Airlines and Turkish Airlines are among some of the operators that have ordered the design package.
The enhancements will also increase seat capacity by 30% on the new model on the São Paulo-Rio shuttle route. "Boeing helped us to expand our seat capacity on the most profitable route in Brazil, offering additional comfort and safety to our passengers," says David Barioni, Technical Vice President of Gol.
"In 2006, we celebrated five years of operations and received our first new 737-800. The average age of our fleet will be reduced every month. This is another example of the company’s commitment to innovation, a condition for the sustainability of our results," added the executive.
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