DALLAS — Brazil’s Gol (G3) is seeing a boost in its Q4 2022 earnings thanks to a rise in “bleasure” travel – a combination of trips for both business and leisure.
The airline this week posted a profit of R$230m (US$44.6m) for the final quarter of 2022. In Q4 2021, Gol showed a loss of R$2.8bn (US$547m). Revenue rose 62% year-on-year, to R$4.7bn (US$918m) from R$2.9bn (US$566m), due to its “judiciously” adding back capacity to its routes.
“This year was marked by the return to normal operations in many aspects,” says chief executive officer Celso Ferrer. “We were focused on controlling costs and increasing our margins, and our strong results in the fourth quarter are evidence that our approach is working. Customer demand continues to grow, particularly from business and bleisure travelers.”
Ferrer also noted that G3 has recouped 100% of corporate revenue compared to prior to the global health crisis, but only 70-75% of corporate passengers.
A notable increase in the airline’s expenses was the rise in the price of jet fuel which was up 82% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.
Domestic markets are “slightly above levels pre-pandemic, but as we go through this year we are ramping up the capacity in the domestic market very cautiously to maintain the unit revenues that became crucial for us,” Ferrer says. Gol has added flights to Orlando (MCO) and Miami (MIA), but further expansion is on hold as the management observes market trends.
“Some markets [that] we operated before the pandemic we are approaching very cautiously to understand the best time to restart,” says Ferrer, noting Santiago and Lima.
The company says its aircraft completed 57,166 flights during the quarter, an increase of 26.4%, with capacity up 26.2% year-on-year.
At year-end 2022, Gol’s fleet numbered 146 aircraft in its all-Boeing 737 fleet, including 38 737 MAX, up from a fleet of 135 aircraft at the end of 2021. In 2022, the airline added 15 new MAX aircraft. By the end of 2023, the company expects to have 53 MAX.
Gol chief financial officer Richard Lark notes the airline is working closely with Boeing to mitigate supply chain bottlenecks and risk and that the partners are confident that the long-term partnership will continue to work.
The company has ordered 92 more 737 MAX, including 67 of the Boeing 737-8 variant and 25 of the still-not-certified -10.
“As we head into 2023, we will maintain the consistency of our operational performance and will strengthen our network with routes that will further enhance our productivity levels,” Ferrer says. “Gol is on a steady course for success.”
Featured image: GOL airlines PR-GZI and PR-GEJ Boeing 737 800 and 737 700. Photo: Joao Pedro Santoro/Airways