“It is extremely important to note that VRG is in no way associated with the old Varig,” says a breathless press release. This week Gol announced it had agreed with the owners of VRG Linhas Aereas to buy New Varig for $320 million.
“Gol will not assume any of the responsibilities or liabilities of the old airline and will be 100% protected from Varig’s old creditors and any other “legacy” issues. Simply put, Gol is purchasing VRG, which owns the brand and route rights of Varig.”
This is an important point, for well-run, profitable and all-round Latin airline success story Gol cannot afford to be smeared with any hangover from Varig’s years of woes. This is why Gol says: “While the two companies will be managed independently, the practices that made Gol a successful low-cost carrier in South America will be employed at the new company, including efficient operations, low maintenance costs, efficient and economic fleet, transparency, innovation and employee motivation.
“Essentially, Varig will become a low-cost, long haul carrier, following the recent trend of other low-cost carriers across the globe expanding into the long haul business, including Ryanair and Virgin Blue.”
And in that final sentence is the other news from this deal that Gol has revealed: Ryanair’s move into long haul. Well it will if it gets European Commission and shareholder approval to buy Aer Lingus. Bit early on the news there Gol.