Brazilian carrier Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes is understood to have opened discussions with both ATR and Bombardier Aerospace to source a small fleet of regional turboprop airliners to operate to smaller communities with Brazil and provide feed to its trunk routes, longer-distance sectors and international network.
The likely move into regional Brazilian operations comes as the Government looks to roll-out a new incentive scheme which will partly-subsidise flights in this market. The regional aviation development program Programa de Desenvolvimento da Aviação Regional (PDAR), which was launched last month will provide around $450 in fuel, air navigation and landing fee cost support to airlines serving smaller airports of less than one million passengers per annum with less than 60 seats available per flight.
Speaking at Routes Americas in Denver, USA this week, Rafael Araujo, manager network planning, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, confirmed that the carrier would more likely move to smaller capacity aircraft than its current Boeing 737 fleet than acquire larger jets.
In conversation with Routesonline he said: “We are looking more closely at opportunities in the regional market in the short-term and we will likely look to add regional types to our fleet. It is a big move for an airline that operates a single type model but the benefits in the domestic Brazilian market are clear.”
The Brazilian Government hope PDAR will increase the number of frequencies of regional routes operated regularly and increase the number of cities and routes served on a scheduled basis while facilitating access to areas with tourism potential.
According to a study by the Court of Auditors (TCU) in 2012, the development of regional aviation in Brazil is an important factor in reducing inequality in the country, since it contributes to economic and social inclusion of the population served and helps in the integration of localities remote through air.
You can find out more about the new scheme and aviation in Brazil in the below presentation from Gustavo Pacheco Fortes Fleury, Air Services Policy Manager Secretariat of Civil Aviation of the Presidency of the Republic Secretariat of Civil Aviation Regulatory Policy Department of Air Services in Bogota, Colombia in November last year.