US Airways objects to Gol's request to renew charter authority

Washington DC
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US Airways has filed an objection with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) against Brazilian carrier Gol's application to renew its exemption authority to operate charter flights to the US, citing its own difficulties in serving Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport.

The Star Alliance carrier holds seven of 105 frequencies for the airport, after the DOT reallocated them to the airline in 2010. However, it has not launched service to the airport, despite agreeing with the airport's former operator Infraero in April 2011 that it would start service in late 2012.

Guarulhos airport was subsequently privatised and will be operated by a private consortium under 20-year concession contract. In April 2012, Infraero informed US Airways that it would not honour the earlier agreement due to the privatisation. "Furthermore, no decisions would be made until the new private operator of GRU took control of the airport. US Airways was then informed that Infraero and the new private operator had not yet begun conversations about operating the airport," says the airline.

US Airways requests for the DOT to deny Gol's application for a one-year renewal of its exemption to operate charter flights between the US and Brazil. Gol's existing exemption had expired on 26 August.

US Airways had filed a similar objection in June against Brazilian carrier's TAM's application to operate cargo codeshare flights to the US, also citing its inability to serve Sao Paulo Guarulhos. The DOT approved TAM's application in late June despite US Airways' objection.