ALTA: Gol explains rationale behind seat reconfiguration

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Gol's recent seat reconfiguration on some Boeing 737-800s is intended to help it attract more high-yield passengers, says the airline's chief executive Paul Kakinoff.

On 6 November, the Brazilian low-cost carrier announced it would reconfigure 737s operated on the Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont-Sao Paulo Congonhas shuttle flights with extra-legroom seats branded as "Gol+Conforto".

The reconfiguration will reduce the total number of seats on each aircraft to 177 from 183. After the change, each aircraft will have 22 seats at the front of the cabin with a 34in seat pitch, up from 30in.

Even though the aircraft will lose seats as a result, Gol will not be losing revenue, says Kakinoff. He explains that this is because the 737s could take off with only 155 passengers on the route due to the short field at Santos Dumont, even before the seat reconfiguration took place.

"We believe the extra-legroom seats will attract more high-yield passengers to fly with us and we can grow our market share," adds Kakinoff.

Ten 737-800s were reconfigured and that the work was completed over two weekends, says Kakinoff. He declines to specify the amount Gol invested in the project, but says it was not major.