Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A., the largest low-cost carrier in Latin America, has applied to the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (known as Anac) to operate scheduled services linking Brazil, Venezuela and the United States.
GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes plans to offer five-times-weekly service from São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (IATA code GRU) to Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS) in Maiquetía, near Caracas. The flight would continue on to Miami International Airport (MIA).
On the return journey, the flight would stop again at CCS before continuing on to São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport.
The airline says its decision was based on the results of internal feasibility studies and is in line with GOL’s business model, which is based on a standardized fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft.
GOL plans to operate flights on the route on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
The airline’s proposed schedule for the route would see its five-times-weekly flight departing GRU at 8:00 a.m. and arriving in Caracas at 11:30 a.m., local time. The flight would then leave CCS again at 12:10 p.m. and land at MIA at 4:10 p.m., local time.
On the return leg, the flight would depart MIA at 6:00 p.m. and touch down at CCS at 9:00 p.m., local time. Arrival of the flight back at GRU would be scheduled for 6:15 a.m. the following day, local time.
Passengers boarding in São Paulo and Miami would not have to change planes and would only have to go through check-in and baggage-dispatch procedures once.
The airline says it is awaiting all the necessary authorizations before disclosing further details of the proposed new service, including information on fares, services, products and the market it would hope to exploit.
GOL offers around 900 daily flights to 63 destinations in Brazil and 13 in South America and the Caribbean under the GOL and VARIG brands, using a fleet of Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 jets. It also offers its customers a further 12 Brazilian destinations through agreements with local regional airlines.
Its SMILES loyalty program, the biggest in Brazil, allows members to accumulate miles and redeem tickets to more than 560 locations around the world via flights with foreign partner airlines.
The company also operates Gollog, a logistics service which retrieves and delivers cargo and packages to and from more than 3,400 cities in Brazil and eight abroad.
Would-be GOL subsidiary Webjet Linhas Aéreas S.A., another Brazilian low-fare carrier controlled by VRG Linhas Aéreas S.A., offers around 155 daily flights to 18 Brazilian destinations, using a fleet of Boeing 737-300s and 737-800s.
GOL announced its planned acquisition of Webjet in July 2011. The companies are continuing to operate separately while awaiting the approval of CADE, Brazil’s anti-trust authority.