Brazilian low-cost carrier, GOL Intelligent Airlines, signed an agreement with Boeing for 28 additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The airline is transforming its fleet in anticipation of a recovery in air travel demand and a more sustainable future. 

GOL’s 28 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will replace 23 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. In a statement, GOL said that adding new 737 MAXs will let the airline speed up the return of Boeing 737NGs on short-term leases. In the past 18 months, GOL has returned 18 Boeing 737-800NGs.

"We are accelerating our fleet transformation plan,” said Paulo Kakinoff, CEO of GOL. "The 737 MAX positions GOL more competitively for growth through the expansion of routes and destinations, while also enhancing the Company's value for all stakeholders through increased efficiency.”

Currently, GOL operates a total of 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. However, the airline plans to have a 75% Boeing 737 MAX fleet by 2030. With its current commitments, the Brazilian lowcoster will add 16 MAX 8s by the end of 2021, and “by the year-end 2022 will have received delivery of 44 737 MAX aircraft”. GOL plans to own around half of its Boeing 737 MAX fleet through finance leases, with a possibility to upsize or downsize capacity based on demand. 

GOL aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. According to the airline, replacing NGs with MAXs would accelerate the carrier’s sustainability commitments. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft “consumes 15% less fuel, produces 16% fewer carbon emissions and 40% less noise” than the Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft.

“On the 23,000 flight hours that GOL has flown with MAX aircraft since 2019, the Company has consumed 9.7 million fewer liters of jet fuel and emitted 24,300 fewer tons of GHGs,” read the airline’s statement.

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GOL Linhas Aereas, Brazilian low-cost carrier, is set to become the first airline in the world to fly commercial passengers on a Boeing 737 MAX, as the airline scheduled flights on December 9.