Low-cost Brazilian start-up Gol Transportes Aereos (GTA) was due to launch Sao Paulo-Brasilia services on 15 January as the first link in a planned network of 14 destinations.

GTA, styled on low-cost operators Southwest Airlines in the USA and the UK's easyJet, plans to operate low fare flights to Brazilian destinations including Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Natal and Recife. The airline is using 10 Boeing 737-700s leased from General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), Boeing Capital Aviation and Bouillion Aviation Services.

Services will begin with two GECAS aircraft, and a further four will come from Boeing Capital in the next five months. The balance will come from Bouillion and GECAS in the second half of this year, with plans to grow to 20 aircraft by 2003. GTA will be a 'paperless' carrier, with digital access to Boeing's maintenance and spares system, and electronic tickets.

The airline, part of Brazilian bus company owner Grupo Aurea, will compete with TAM, Transbrasil, Varig and VASP.

Source: Flight International