Gol targets more international flights

Washington DC
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Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol plans to expand its international network and indicates that it could launch new routes in the second half of 2013.

The carrier began flights to the USA in late 2012 from Brazil via Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and demand has been strong, says the airline's chief executive Paulo Sérgio Kakinoff in an earnings call today.

"The results are encouraging to further develop the international network from the second semester onwards," says Kakinoff, referring to the second half of 2013.

Gol is operating five times weekly from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to Orlando and Miami via Santo Domingo. It has said that it plans to convert its Santo Domingo operations into a full-fledged Dominican airline with local traffic rights, called Gol Dominicana.

Gol told Flightglobal in March that this new subsidiary, which is targetting a June launch, would begin new flights from Santo Domingo to Brasilia, New York John F. Kennedy and either Boston or San Juan. It will also take over Gol's existing flights to Miami and Orlando.

Kakinoff says today there is "huge potential" to further develop the airline's network to new destinations in Central America, the Caribbean and North America.

About 8% of Gol's revenues come from its international routes, but the airline hopes to grow this to about 15%, he adds.

Besides Brazil and the Dominican Republic, Gol operates to seven countries in Latin America: Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, schedules in Innovata show. Its US flights are its only routes outside Latin America.