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Brazilian start-up hits first years Gol

JACKSON FLORES / RIO DE JANEIRO

Brazilian start-up carrier Gol Transportes Aéreos matched or exceeded many of its objectives in its first year of operation.

Gol recorded revenue of $117.4 million for 2001, and forecasts it will double that figure by the end of this year. As expected the airline failed to record a profit in 2001. The performance comes against a background of continuing problems in the domestic market which has already seen local rival Transbrasil grounded. The carrier weathered the 11 September crisis better than most Brazilian airlines, maintaining an average 79.5% load factor since the terrorist attacks.

By December last year, Gol had secured an 8.05% share of the domestic market, 12% above the initial forecast and slightly below the 8.18% share of Rio Sul, Brazil's fourth largest carrier in terms of market share. Gol's position is expected to be boosted further by the imminent start of scheduled services on the profitable Rio-S‹o Paulo shuttle service.

Gol expects to add two Boeing 737-700s and two 737-800s to its fleet of 10 737-700s by the end of next month. The airline hopes to receive a further three Boeing 737-700/800s during the second half of 2002. The company could end this year with a fleet of 20 aircraft. Carrying 1.25 million revenue passengers since it inaugurated its services, Gol has plans to increase that figure to 4 million during 2002, with a 12% share of the market.

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