Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes has ordered 60 Boeing 737 MAX jets, the airline planning to use the aircraft to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.
Boeing values the order at approximately $6 billion at published list prices. This makes it the largest order in GOL’s 12-year history and the largest commercial-jet order from a single airline in South America’s aviation history, according to Boeing.
Neither GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes – which operates an all-Boeing 737NG fleet today – or Boeing has said which versions of the Boeing 737 MAX family are included in the order. However, GOL primarily operates Boeing 737-800s today and the publicity image Boeing released along with the order announcement shows a 737 MAX 8 in GOL colors.
“The decision to order [the] Boeing 737 MAX is in line with our commitment to maintaining a modern and safe fleet that will allow us to sustain our competitive advantage in the long term,” says Paulo Kakinoff, CEO of GOL. “The new airplanes will have one of the best cost-benefit ratios in the market due to its unique operational economy, so it is fully compatible with our low-cost model.”
Equipped with new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International and improvements such as the Advanced Technology winglet, the 737 MAX will reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13 per cent and will maintain the 8 per cent operating cost advantage over future competition, Boeing claims. Other manufacturers and various independent industry analysts dispute this claim.
GOL’s order increases the firm orderbook for the Boeing 737 MAX to 724 aircraft to date.
“Boeing has partnered with GOL since their inception just over 12 years ago. We’ve watched them grow from a small start-up airline to a driving force in global aviation and we are proud to partner with them as the South American launch customer for the 737 MAX,” says Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
In just over 11 years, GOL has established itself as one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world. GOL operates approximately 810 daily flights to 63 destinations in Brazil and 12 in South America and the Caribbean.
Combined with six codeshare partnerships and more than 60 interline agreements with foreign companies, GOL’s route network is among the most comprehensive serving customers traveling to, from and within Brazil.