Gol and Webjet to operate separately pending anti-trust ruling

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Brazilian carriers Gol and Webjet would have to operate independently pending a final ruling from Brazil's anti-trust authority on Gol's acquisition of Webjet, following a precautionary measure enforced upon the airlines by the authority.

The two carriers have signed an agreement with anti-trust agency CADE to ensure that Gol's acquisition of Webjet can be "reversed" in the event of a negative ruling from CADE.

The airlines must also hire an independent audit firm to ensure that they are complying with the terms of the agreement, said Gol. While the two carriers may still continue to codeshare, Webjet's capacity must be maintained.

Webjet still continues to operate under its brand. Brazil's civil aviation administration ANAC has approved the acquisition.

A CADE source said the agreement would mean that corporate, commercial and operational integration cannot be completed before CADE rules on the case. "This is only a precautionary measure, which does not imply any positioning from CADE's side", he added.