Brazilian carrier Azul would not be drawn into speculation linking it to a possible move to combine with rival operator Gol, with Azul today disclosing improved first-quarter results.

Recent reports from Brazil have suggested Azul has recruited financial advisors to look at a possible combination with Gol, which in January entered a formal financial restructuring after filing for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


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”We can’t comment on news reports,” Azul chief executive John Rodgerson said when asked about the reports during a first-quarter earnings call on 13 May. ”We believe strongly in what Azul is building. We believe strongly in what we have going forward.”

He does, however, add, “We are big fans of consolidation and that’s also something we have been pretty open about for the last five years or so. So we’ll see what happens going forward. There is a process in place and we are watching very closely and that’s all we can really say.”

Rodgerson spoke the day Azul reported that its operating profit jumped 73% year on year to R801 million ($155 million). Azul’s first-quarter revenue increased 4.5% year on year to R4.68 billion, while its profit before interest, depreciation and amortisation climbed 37% in one year to R1.42 billion.

Azul still lost money overall, reporting a first-quarter net loss of R324 million on an adjusted basis, excluding unrealised derivative and foreign currency effects. The latter was heavily impacted by the Brazilian real’s depreciation against the US dollar, driving an exchange loss of R837 million in the quarter.