Brazilian Low Cost Carrier Gol To Fly Nonstop To The US

Gol is a Brazilian low cost carrier that can probably be most closely compared to Southwest Airlines in the US. They’re South America’s largest low cost carrier, and Brazil’s second largest airline, after LATAM Brazil. The airline presently has a fleet of 119 Boeing 737s, though they’re looking at some massive growth over the coming years.

Gol has 120 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on order, which they’ll start taking delivery of around the middle of the year. For those of you not familiar, the 737 MAX is the more fuel efficient and longer range version of the 737, which has opened up a lot of interesting routes for airlines (for example, Norwegian uses their 737 MAX planes for transatlantic flights).

While Gol operates primarily within Brazil, they also operate some flights around South America. For the first time ever, the airline has announced plans to fly nonstop between Brazil and the US (in the past they operated flights to the US via third countries, including flights through Punta Cana).

Brazilian media is reporting that Gol will begin flying between Brazil and the US as of November 4, 2018. Specifically, the airline will fly from both Brasilia and Fortaleza to both Miami and Orlando.

All four routes will be operated daily using Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with the following schedule:

G37600 Brasilia to Orlando departing 9:50AM arriving 2:50PM
G37601 Orlando to Brasilia departing 9:30PM arriving 8:20AM (+1 day)

G37664 Fortaleza to Orlando departing 8:35AM arriving 2:25PM
G37665 Orlando to Fortaleza departing 9:45PM arriving 7:15AM (+1 day)

G37748 Brasilia to Miami departing 9:50AM arriving 2:25PM
G37749 Miami to Brasilia departing 9:45PM arriving 8:20AM (+1 day)

G37732 Fortaleza to Miami departing 8:35AM arriving 2:05PM
G37733 Miami to Fortaleza departing 10:00PM arriving 7:15AM (+1 day)

These are long routes, as they all range between 3,400 and 3,800 miles one-way. As far as I know, Brasilia to Orlando will be the world’s longest 737 route, at 3,778 miles. That’s just barely within the range of the aircraft.

Gol is a low cost carrier but not an ultra low cost, so it’s expected that they’ll offer complimentary meals and drinks on these flights. Gol doesn’t have business class, though on select flights they offer a premium cabin, which is just economy with a blocked middle seat and additional legroom. I suspect we’ll see that on these routes as well.

Delta owns a stake in Gol, and it’s possible to earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles on Gol. Presumably that will be the case on these flights as well, and maybe we’ll even see Delta codeshare on Gol’s services. You can earn SkyMiles on Gol at the following rates:

We don’t yet know what fares will look like on these flights, though tickets should go on sale later this month, so we should know within a couple of weeks.

What do you make of Gol’s expansion to the US?

Comments

  1. Gol used to fly to MIA and MCO from GRU and GIG, with a stop in the Domenican Republic (first SDQ, later PUJ IIRC) using 737. These routes were discuntinued following the Brazilian economic crisis.

    In addition to earning skypesos, Delta elites also have a few reciprocal benefits at Gol (lounge access, priority seating and boarding, etc.).

  2. “For the first time ever, the airline has announced flights to the US.”.
    Not really, they had flights to Miami a couple of years ago with a stopover in PUJ. Great news btw!

  3. These particular routes sound quite hardcore, but still it would be nice to read some reviews of Eco or Eco+ on other carriers (not necessarily US3 or other mainstream).

    Any plans to try FlyDubai new business class?

  4. Actually, that’s a return of Gol to South Florida. They tried to establish a hub in Dominican Republic (first in SDQ, later in PUJ) in 2013, offering flights from GIG, GRU and VCP. Their intention was to offer flights from several Brazilian cities, connecting in Dominican republic, but it seems this strategy didn’t work out really well, as they decided to end these flights by the beginning of 2016.

  5. @lucky
    I have just flown GOL, I would be hard pressed to call them the Southwest Airlines of Brazil. Firstly they offer a premium class. Secondly they offered a lounge, a hot meal, assigned seating, a blocked middle seat, 4″ longer legroom with more recline, just to name a few things that Southwest does not or will never do as they don’t have a premium class. Even if you don’t fly premium they offered this seating to anyone to purchase. They also have a pretty decent travel pass to fly 9 sectors anywhere in the country.

  6. Brasília has one of the nicest lounges I’ve ever been to – don’t know if you will be in a different part of the airport when flying internationally.

  7. I’d take a brand new 737 MAX with the Sky Interior and wi-fi over the jurassic 757s American operates on these routes with CRTs on the roof and whatnot any day.

    When will GOL actually join SkyTeam?

  8. is expected more low cost airlines to start flying from South America to USA. LOW airlines is planning to start flights to Miami and in the future Jet Smart from SCL to MIA.

  9. @ When I Travel The World.
    It is actually fantastic news for those who fly from northeast Brazil to the US. The only other option is to go down half a hemisphere to São Paulo and then go it all up again en route to Miami. This is basically cutting the trip time by 60 or 70% (including layover).

  10. Gol is the successor to the more famous — amongst people of a certain age — Varig. After the merger, the airline continued with the Varig brand internationally (and Gol domestically) for a few years, before ending essentially all of their foreign routes, disposing of all of their widebodies, and dropping Varig entirely.

  11. I flew GOL in Brazil, on a trip that had me flying all three of Brazil’s major carriers, LATAM (TAM at the time), GOL and AZUL. Of the three, AZUL was by far and away the best of them, friendly crew, newer aircraft, decent seating and in flight entertainment. It was on one of their newer Embraers. TAM was a distant second, marginal service and seating on one of the A321’s with what appeared to be a severely out of balance nose gear tire or bad wheel bearing that violently (and I emphasize the violently) shook the plane as the plane picked up speed on the runway (and decelerated from speed upon landing). GOL was dead last. Indifferent service, rude checkin staff, being forced to check in a hand carry bag (on a 737) for around $60, no snacks and the only beverage option was water in a Dixie Cup and seat pitch that does RyanAir proud and buried the knees of this 5’9er deep into the seat in front of me.

  12. @ Bitzer

    Agreed. Northern Brazil has been poorly served for air connections. I’ve been trying to organise a meeting in Fortaleza, but the routes from Europe are all *much* uglier than they should be for the actual distances.

    Brasilia deserves more airline love, too.

  13. “Some flights to South America”. LOL
    from Buenos Aires they fly to 13 cities in Brazil, you know, nothing.
    Plus all the other flights to Mendoza, Cordoba, Santiago, Montevideo, etc.

  14. GOL used to be called as a low-cost airline, though they are not. They offer complimentary food and drinks in ALL flights; free seat-assignment; wi-fi (there is a fee, but sometimes companies sponsor for all passengers); In-seat Power in most aircrafts; 7 rows of Gol confort+ with a generous pitch and good recline (free for smiles diamond, 50% discount for smiles gold and for those who do not have status there is a fee from R$19 to R$39, USD $6-12);you can get an earlier flight than you originally booked in 6 hours, for example, your flight is at 3pm so you can go in a flight at 9am for free, even if you do not have any status; they have lounges in both domestic and international terminals in GRU and GIG that can be used if you’re in Gol Premium class (international flights), if you are connecting domestically from a Delta, Air France or KLM previous flight in business class, if you are smiles gold or diamond plus a guest or your family (to be smiles gold you just need to travel 18 segments with Gol or 18k qualifying miles) and even offering all this, they have the cheapest fares within Brazil, so, is Gol really an low-cost airline?

  15. I’m from Brasilia and we have a serious lack of international flights here. Delta, LATAM and AF canceled their flights, while AA still operates a not-ideal 757 to the US and TAP offers a subpar service.
    Overall, it’s always nice to have new options, but I would never take a 737 to the US, especially when they lack a proper business class seat. So for me this flight doesn’t change that fact that I’ll still have to connect through GRU.

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