03 November 2007

Gol completes commitment for Varig's interim Fleet, Private Equity talk swirls

To celebrate the re-launch of the UK service, (GIG-GRU-LHR) Gol CEO Constantino de Oliveira "Junior" announced that they had secured 14 767-300s and 14 737-800s for the starred but ill-fated former Brazilian national carrier. The new fleet should be fully operational by the end of next year when all the aircraft are refurbished to VRG's specifications. In a very tight market for 767-300s where these planes came from is somewhat of a mystery. There is no one disposing of them at the moment especially with the delay of the replacement craft 787 Dreamliner.

At the same time - rumors are now swirling that with a reduced stock price - down nearly 50% on the year - Gol is looking to take the 30% in public hands back private. Gol has confirmed that it has received private equity interest in assisting in such a move. With Brazil's travel market starting to boom - despite the ongoing air traffic control mess - there is much to be enthusiastic. Whether the original players in Varig's bankruptcy - Mattelin Patterson and Cerberus are among those interested remains to be seen.

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