Gol considers using Santo Domingo as hub

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Brazil's Gol is considering converting Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic into a hub for its North American operations after the airline began selling tickets for its flights to Miami and Orlando, which will make a stop at the airport.

Gol's president Paulo Kakinoff said at a conference of the Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies (ABAV) that Gol is evaluating additional destinations in North America that could be served via Santo Domingo in addition to Miami, Orlando and New York, which have already been announced.

"The range of our [Boeing 737-800] aircraft allows us to serve potential destinations, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Cancun or Mexico City," he said, without giving further details.

Starting 15 December, Gol will start serving Miami and Orlando from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro via Santo Domingo. New York will also be added to Gol's first international mini hub.

Kakinoff also confirmed that Gol's renewed internationalisation effort will not mean the return of the Varig brand, which is owned by Gol, to the US market. "Varig stands for a different product from the service offered by Gol. Gol stands for low-cost, low-fare, while Varig stands for a full service product at a higher price," Kakinoff said.

He added that Gol will also improve its US coverage through its code share partner and minority shareholder Delta Air Lines.