With the delivery of its new Boeing, Brazilian Airline Gol and its subsidiary Varig Airline have reached 100 aircraft inÂ their combined fleet. The new Boeing 737-800 SFP (Short Field Performance) will be used on flights operated by Gol Transportes Aéreos.
"The delivery of the 100th aircraft is a significant milestone in our history," says Fernando Rockert de Magalhães, Gol's Vice-President. "In addition to further reducing costs, new aircraft are essential to serving our expanding route network and the increasing demand for our services."
Boeing developed the 737-800 SFP specifically for operations at two of Brazil's busiest airports: Congonhas in São Paulo and Santos Dumont in Rio de Janeiro, which has one of the shortest runways in the world.
The SFPs are also equipped with winglets, a technology that improves aircraft performance during takeoff and affords fuel savings of more than 3% a year. All Boeing 737 model aircraft adhere to international safety rules and are certified by U.S. and Brazilian authorities to take-off and land on short runways.
"Our main concern is providing customers with a high-quality, safe way to travel throughout Brazil, South America and, with the addition of Varig, new markets in Europe and North America," adds Rockert.
The 737-800 SFPs also include internal alterations that have increased seat capacity by nearly 30% on São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro air-bridge (shuttle) route: SFPs seat 187 passengers compared to 141 seats on the competition's largest aircraft to land at Santos Dumont.
In October 2006, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes increased the total number of aircraft on order with Boeing to 121 Next Generation 737-800 aircraft (87 firm orders and 34 options), making this order the largest contract between Boeing and a Latin American company.
By year-end, Gol expects to have a combined fleet of 103 aircraft. This number should be raised to 112 aircraft by the end of 2008.