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A GOL 737 MAX 8 prepares for a test flight at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

GOL Reassures Confidence in 737 MAX, Schedules New Flight With Jet

While some Boeing 737 MAX operators around the world are looking to seek compensation from Boeing for the costs associated with the global fleet’s groundings, Brazilian carrier GOL has scheduled a new flight with the Boeing 737 MAX, reassuring its confidence in the type. The Brazilian carrier expects to have the 737 MAX back in the skies by the second half of the year and will begin flights between Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo and Lima, Peru on Dec. 12 using the aircraft.

Announcing what is set to become GOLs 15th international destination, Celso Ferrer, VP of Operations said “We are very pleased to announce regular flights to Lima, as we remain focused on our international market growth. We believe in our potential for a differentiated high quality product and services to provide the best travel experience for both corporate and leisure costumers.”

The new service has yet to be loaded into GOLs reservation systems. Additionally, there is no information on the frequency of the new flights.

GOL is the first carrier to schedule additional flights with the Boeing 737 MAX following the global fleet grounding as it is confident that the aircraft will be up and running again soon. At their first quarterly earnings call last week GOL CEO Paulo Kakinoff assured the carrier had safely operated more than 3,000 flights with the Boeing 737 MAX prior to its grounding and that there are no concerns over the need to seek compensation from Boeing. The Brazilian carrier has seven Boeing 737 MAX 8s in its fleet. With orders for 100 aircraft, the MAX is the center of GOLs expansion and fleet replacement.

A GOL 737 MAX 8 performs a test flight at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mateen Kontoravdis)

Boeing also expects to bring the 737 MAX back to the air soon after it finishes fixing and updating the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a system which lowers the aircraft’s nose inclination angle when the aircraft’s angle of attack is too high.

However, things don’t seem to be looking too bright at Boeing right now after investigations reveal that the manufacturer was aware of a malfunctioning safety alert on the cockpit, providing warnings of incorrect sensor information on the aircraft’s angle of attack and took a few months to inform costumers and the FAA.

Additionally, media reports claim FAA designated authorized representatives (ARs) in charge of making sure engineering data complies with FAA airworthiness standards faced heavily pressure from Boeing’s managers to limit safety analysis so that the company could meet its manufacturing schedule.

Unlike GOL, other carriers such as Norwegian, American and Cayman Airways have begun taking steps to mitigate the consequences of the MAX grounding. Flydubai has gone a step further and began talks with Airbus for A320 Family member orders. The Middle Eastern regional carrier, like many other operators, will also be seeking compensation from Boeing for revenue losses  from the MAX grounding.

Jose Antonio Payet
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Jose Antonio Payet
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