A Brazilian All-737 Operator – The GOL Fleet In 2021

2021 marked two decades since Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes commenced operations. In the 20 years that have followed, the airline has amassed a considerable fleet consisting entirely of Boeing 737 family aircraft. But what are the exact variants that it presently flies? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

GOL placed its first Boeing 737 MAX order in October 2012. Image: Boeing

Boeing 737-700

According to data from ch-aviation.com, GOL’s fleet presently consists of 130 aircraft. All of these are examples of models from Boeing’s popular 737 family. The smallest of these in terms of size and capacity are the airline’s 22 examples of the Boeing 737-700. These twinjets have an average age of 17.7 years old, making them the oldest jets in GOL’s fleet.

Of these 22 twinjets, ch-aviation lists 15 as presently being active. Each seats 138 passengers in a two-class configuration, consisting of 102 standard economy seats, as well as 36 that offer extra legroom. Historically speaking, GOL has also operated a further 32 Boeing 737-700d. PR-GEU is the most recent arrival, having joined from Aeroméxico in May 2021.

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GOL Boeing 737-700 Getty
GOL’s Boeing 737-700s are its oldest aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing 737-800

The Boeing 737-800 is the family’s best-selling variant, and, correspondingly, it is also the dominant version when it comes to GOL’s present fleet. The Brazilian low-cost carrier currently has 89 of these twinjets at its disposal, accounting for almost 70% of the fleet. Of this figure, data from ch-aviation lists around 64% (57 aircraft) are being active.

According to SeatGuru, GOL’s 737-800s have different configurations, depending on if they are used domestically or internationally. The domestic layout has 186 standard economy seats, while international flights feature 20 seats of premium economy (blocked middle seat) and 156 standard economy seats. GOL’s 737-800s are 11.1 years old on average.

Boeing 737 MAX

GOL’s most modern aircraft are its 19 examples of the Boeing 737 MAX 8. These next-generation narrowbodies are just 2.3 years old on average, and 17 of the 19 are presently active. SeatGuru reports that they have the same two seating configurations, as determined by the routes on which GOL uses them. Its first example arrived in June 2018.

Over the years, Boeing’s commercial data shows that GOL has made several orders for aircraft in the 737 MAX family. The first of these was also the largest, when the carrier requested 82 of these aircraft back in October 2012. As such, there are plenty of deliveries still to come, with ch-aviation’s data listing 78 MAX 8s as yet to be delivered. Interestingly, the site also reports that GOL has orders for 25 examples of the stretched-fuselage 737 MAX 10.

The 737 MAX represents the future of GOL’s fleet. Photo: Alexandro Dias via Wikimedia Commons

Fluctuating fleet size intentions

The events of the past couple of years pertaining to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have prompted various discussions about the size of GOL’s fleet. For example, at the start of the global health crisis, it considered using lease expirations to shrink its fleet.

A year later, in April 2021, it re-iterated its plans to shrink its fleet, in response to lower demand levels. However, more recently, it has expressed a desire to be flying 75 737 MAX aircraft by 2025, suggesting that growth in this area would be welcome after all.

What do you make of GOL’s all-737 fleet? have you ever flown with the Brazilian low-cost carrier? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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