Gol Boeing 737-800

Five Boeing 737s from Gol Linhas Aereas will be transferred to Avelo Airlines

Brazilian carrier is replacing the 737-700 and 737-800 with the 737 MAX, but Boeing’s delay caused the idle fleet to grow amid the bankruptcy process

Gol Linhas Aéreas will return five Boeing 737 NG jets to its lessor during this year and which will be taken over by Avelo Airlines, from the United States.

The information was revealed by the carrier’s chief executive to Aviation Week on Friday and involves four 737-800s and a smaller capacity 737-700.

Despite the Brazilian carrier having filed a financial restructuring request with the New York Bankruptcy Court, it is understood that the return of the planes has no relation to the process.

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Avelo Airlines Boeing 737-800
Avelo Airlines Boeing 737-800

Gol already has a process underway to replace the NG series with the new 737 MAX, which consume less fuel and fly longer distances.

The airline’s plan was to have added 15 aircraft of the type by 2023, but Boeing only delivered six jets. As soon as the 737 MAX arrives, Gol has removed the 737 NG from service.

Gol’s fleet currently has 138 aircraft, all 737 models, of which 45 are the MAX 8 variant. According to Planespotters, 21 737-800s and two 737-700s were out of service in mid-February.

In the documents in which it requested judicial protection from creditors, Gol revealed that it had 20 idle aircraft in January.

LATAM and Azul also have idle planes

The airline’s CEO, Celso Ferrer, commented at the end of 2023 that the idleness was caused by delays in deliveries of the 737 MAX.

Gol Boeing 737 MAX 8
Gol Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Nathan Coats)

According to the executive, Gol removed the 737NG from service waiting for replacements and that unforeseen events prevented them from being reprogrammed to take on flights quickly.

The day after the request for financial restructuring, “Chapter 11”, rival LATAM Airlines sent a letter to Gol’s lessors seeking Boeing 737 aircraft, which it does not have in its fleet.

The airline claimed that high passenger demand and problems with the A320neo with GTF engines motivated it to reinforce the fleet with first-generation Airbus aircraft, but also the 737NG and 737 MAX.

In February, however, Planespotters shows that LATAM Airlines Brasil had nine jets grounded, eight of them from the A320 family, including older models.

Azul, another large Brazilian airline, had 28 of its 169 planes parked, including models ATR, A320, A330, Embraer and the two A350 that would be in the process of being deactivated.


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