SAO PAULO, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (BM&FBovespa: GOLL4 and NYSE: GOL), (S&P/Fitch: BB-/BB-, Moody`s: Ba3), the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, has signed a commercial agreement to sell, in all its sales channels, tickets of Passaredo Linhas Aereas, a Brazilian domestic airline that recorded growth of 130.89% last year.
Passaredo currently operates 103 flights to 20 destinations in Brazil. As a result of the agreement, GOL will add the cities of Marilia, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Jose de Rio Preto (Sao Paulo), Barreiras, Vitoria da Conquista (Bahia) and Ji-Parana (Rondonia) to its route network. GOL, operating through Passaredo, also offers eight new direct flights, including Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul) to Goiania (Goias) and Uberlandia (Minas Gerais) to Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont Airport).
GOL passengers connecting with Passaredo flights will only need to check-in once and their baggage will go directly to the final destination.
Based in Ribeirao Preto, Passaredo Linhas Aereas began operations in 1995. Its fleet currently comprises 15 aircraft – five Embraer EMB-120s and ten Embraer ERJ-145 jets, with a capacity for 30 and 50 passengers, respectively. By July 2011, however, it will be operating 23 aircraft, with the addition of eight already contracted ERJ-145s.
"This is a strategic agreement for GOL because Passaredo is a well-known regional airline which will add important destinations to our route network, improving our penetration and offering our passengers new direct flight options", declared Claudia Pagnano, GOL's Market Vice-President.
The routes will be handled by all GOL's sales channels, available for purchase up to the day before the flight. The agreement does not include the accumulation of SMILES mileage on Passaredo flights.
For Captain Felicio, the CEO of Passaredo Linhas Aereas, the company is assuming a strategic position in the market. "GOL is an excellent partner. We believe in a strong regional aviation market, where we will be operating with penetration for one of the leading airlines in Latin America. This is the system they use in North America and Europe", he concluded.
About Passaredo Linhas Aereas
Passaredo has expanded more than any other airline in Brazil since 2004, recording annual growth of close to 100%, and currently operates 103 daily flights to 20 cities in 10 Brazilian states. It focuses on flights carrying up to 50 passengers, operating on medium-potential routes with high-tech aircraft, high fuel consumption efficiency and low-cost maintenance. Its aircraft are manufactured by Embraer and there are more than 1,200 units operating worldwide. Passaredo puts great emphasis on top-class customer service, prioritizing comfort, safety, efficiency and punctuality. Given its intention of maintaining its regional identity, the partnership with GOL will complement its operations, allowing it to offer a wider range of destinations to its clients.
About GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL and BM&FBOVESPA: GOLL4), (S&P/Fitch: BB-/BB-, Moody`s: Ba3), the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, offers more than 900 daily flights to 59 destinations that connect all the important cities in Brazil and 14 major destinations in South America and Caribbean. The Company operates a young, modern fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, the safest and most comfortable of its class, with high aircraft utilization and efficiency levels. Fully committed to seeking innovative solutions through the use of cutting-edge technology, the Company - via its GOL, VARIG, GOLLOG, SMILES and VoeFacil brands - offers its clients easy payment facilities, a wide range of complementary services and the best cost-benefit ratio in the market.
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of GOL. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of GOL's management concerning the future of the business and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend, substantially, on changes in market conditions, government regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Brazilian economy and the industry, among other factors and risks disclosed in GOL's filed disclosure documents and are, therefore, subject to change without prior notice.
Leonardo Pereira – CFO
Rodrigo Alves – Capital Markets Officer
Raquel Kim – Investor Relations
Mario Liao – Investor Relations
Phone.: (55 11) 2128-4700
Phone.: (55 11) 2128-4413
Edelman (USA and Europe):
Meaghan Smith and Robby Corrado
Phone.: +1 (212) 704-8196 / 704-4590
SOURCE GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.