Gol Linhas Aereas is a Brazilian airline based in Comandante Lineu Gomes Square, São Paulo City, Brazil. It is now owned by AeroPar Participações, Venture and American International Group.
It owns the brand Varig although the name Varig refers to the informally known 'new' Varig, founded in 2006 and not to the 'old' Varig, founded in 1927. Its main hubs are São Paulo's Congonhas Airport, Rio de Janeiro's Galeão International Airport and Brasília International Airport - Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek. Gol also has focus operations at Belo Horizonte Int'l Airport, Rio de Janeiro's Santos Dumont Airport, São Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport and Porto Alegre's Salgado Filho International Airport.
Gol refers to itself as Gol Intelligent Airlines (Gol Linhas aéreas inteligentes in Portuguese) as a slogan. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as 'GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A.'
The airline was established in 2000 and started operations on January 15, 2001. On June 24, 2004 Gol launched simultaneous initial public offerings on the New York and São Paulo stock exchanges. The growth in Gol's stock price made the Constantino family a member of the Forbes Magazine billionaire list in 2005.
On March 28, 2007 Gol officially purchased part of the assets of VARIG - VRG Linhas Aéreas, informally known as 'new Varig', a new airline that owned the brand Varig, for US$320 million from Volo Group and MatlinPatterson Global Opportunies hedge fund. At that time 'old Varig' was under bankruptcy protection. In 2009 Gol was merged into VRG Linhas Aéreas. VRG Linhas Aéreas thus became an airline that operates two brands: Gol and Varig, although in reality flights are operated only under Gol flight numbers.
On September 28, 2011 Gol and Aerolíneas Argentinas announced the intention to implement a codeshare, feeder and frequent flyer programs agreement on a date yet to be announced and pending on governments" approval. On March 18, 2010 Gol unveiled the expansion of its maintenance base located at Belo Horizonte/Confins - Tancredo Neves International Airport. Since December 23, 2010 Gol Airlines has an operational partnership with the Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas.
On July 8, 2011, VRG Linhas Aéreas, owner of the brands Gol and Varig, announced the intention to purchase full control of WebJet Linhas Aéreas. The purchase contract was signed on August 2, 2011. Until approval by all government bodies, both companies will operate independently but eventually Webjet will be integrated into Gol and cease to exist.
On December 7, 2011, Gol announced the intention of Delta Air Lines to purchase 3% of its shares. The agreement also includes the creation of mutual code-share flights, alignment of frequent flyer benefits and transfer of Gol"s Boeing 767s lease agreements to Delta.
The route network of the airline includes destinations in South America and the Caribbean, with almost 900 flights a day to 71 destinations in 13 countries, such as: Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. It has a wide domestic network.
The fleet of VRG Linhas Aéreas, which combines the brands Gol and Varig, consisted of 43 Boeing 737-700 and 80 Boeing 737-800.