After Varig’s Demise, Gol and TAM Keep Growing Fast in Brazil

    Brazil’s low cost airline Gol began this week direct flights from Santiago de Chile to São Paulo in Brazil with rates in the range of US$ 170 US.

    "Business opportunities between Brazil and Chile continue to grow and we’re anxious of helping with the economic, social and tourism development between both countries," said Tarcí­sio Gargioni, Gol’s Marketing and Services vice president.

    Gol currently flies from Chile to Buenos Aires, Florianópolis, Rio do Janeiro and São Paulo, and in the coming weeks will add Lima, Peru.

    Gol began operations in Chile last September 25, the seventh overseas destiny of the Brazilian low cost airline behind, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Cordoba; Montevideo, Asunción and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia.

    The Brazilian company which began operations in 2001 is in the midst of an expansion drive and this month signed the largest contract between Boeing and a Latinamerican airline. Gol will be purchasing 87 Boeing 737 with an option totaling 121.

    No details of the money involved in the contract were reported.

    In related news, Brazilian airline TAM received Tuesday two new Airbus aircraft: one A319 and one A320, which will start flying next week.

    These are the 11th and 12th A319/320 aircraft incorporated into the company’s operating fleet which now has 93 aircraft, consisting of 71 Airbus – 14 A319, 47 A320 and 10 A330.

    TAM expects its fleet to have a minimum of 96 airplanes by the end of 2006 making it Brazil largest airline.

    The aircraft are part of contracts, which foresee the acquisition of 61 Airbus aircraft – 15 A319, 40 A320 and 6 A330 – to be delivered by 2010. The contracts include the option of an additional 20 aircraft. TAM’s strategic plan foresees an operational fleet of 127 Airbus aircraft by the end of 2010.

    According to a company’s release the new A320 aircraft will fly domestic routes as well as routes throughout South America, following the increase in demand observed over the past few months. Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency, ANAC, reported that the domestic market increased 14.7% in the period from January to September.

    During the same period, year-on-year, TAM increased 31.4%. The company held a 51.7% domestic market share in September 2006.

    Manufactured with high technology, the Airbus A320 has the capacity to transport up to 174 passengers and the A319 can hold up to 144 passengers. With these new A320 and A319, TAM strengthens its policy of operating a young aircraft fleet, offering more comfort to passengers with a high-tech product.

    TAM has been the leader in the Brazilian domestic market for more than three years, and held a 51.7% domestic market share and 60% international market share at the end of September 2006.

    TAM operates regular flights to 48 destinations throughout Brazil and serves 74 different cities in the domestic market through regional alliances. Additionally, it maintains code-share agreements with international airline companies that allow passengers to travel to a large number of destinations throughout the world.

    Mercopress

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