SAO PAULO, Brazil – GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A., the parent company of Brazilian airlines GOL Transportes Aereos S.A. (“GTA”, Brazil’s low-cost, low- fare airline) and VRG Linhas Aereas S.A. (“VRG”, Brazil’s premium service airline), today celebrates its seventh anniversary of operations, transporting more than 75 million passengers across Brazil and South America. The Company, which entered the Brazilian aviation market with the aim of popularizing air transportation, surpassed a 40 percent domestic market share in December 2007 and reported average load factors in 2007 of 70 percent, one of the highest in the industry. GOL’s current fleet of 78 aircraft operates 640 daily flights to 60 destinations, including eight abroad.
GOL began international operations in 2004, with flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Company’s share of the international market has since doubled, reaching 14 percent in 2007. “The strong growth of our international sales is a testament to the success of our business model, which has been attracting customers across South America looking for safe and affordable air transportation,” says Constantino de Oliveira Junior, President and CEO of GOL.
In 2007, GOL acquired VRG, making the Company one of the largest airline groups in Latin America, with 20 million passengers transported each year. The acquisition enabled GOL’s entry in the long-haul international sector with destinations in Europe, South America and North America, and allowed for the VARIG brand to remain under Brazilian management with the potential for growth, strong results and the creation of new job opportunities.