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Brazil’s Gol Airlines has announced that it’s starting its first nonstop flights to the US, with one of the routes to become the world’s longest 737 flight. Gol’s new routes will connect Miami (MIA) and Orlando (MCO) to Brasilia (BSB) and Fortaleza (FOR), with the Orlando-Brasilia flight coming in at an astounding 3,778 miles.
Currently, the longest commercial 737 route is Norwegian’s 3,456 mile flight from Newburgh (SWF) to Bergen (BGO). Lufthansa operates a 737-700 from Frankfurt (FRA) to Pune (PNQ,) but it’s a Boeing Business Jet equipped with extra fuel tanks, and it only seats 86 to make the 4,158 mile journey.
Gol is a Brazilian low-cost carrier and one of South America’s biggest airlines. Its fleet is purely composed of 737s, à la Southwest or Ryanair, and it has 60 737 MAX 8s on order — the newer and longer-range version of the single-aisle Boeing. The MAX 8 has a range of 4,044 miles which is only a few hundred more miles than this new longest route.
This isn’t the first time Gol will operate US-bound flights, but it will be the first time it’s flown nonstop to the States — in the past the airline stopped in Punta Cana (PUJ) on the way to Florida.
Boeing is expected to deliver Gol’s first 737 Max in June and Gol will start the new flights on November 4, 2018. Here’s the schedule Gol released:
- G37600 Brasilia (BSB) 9:50AM Departure → Orlando (MCO) 2:50PM Arrival
- G37601 Orlando (MCO) 9:30PM Departure → Brasilia (BSB) 8:20AM (+1) Arrival
- G37664 Fortaleza (FOR) 8:35AM Departure → Orlando (MCO) 2:25PM Arrival
- G37665 Orlando (MCO) 9:45PM Departure → Fortaleza (FOR) 7:15AM (+1) Arrival
- G37748 Brasilia (BSB) 9:50AM Departure → Miami (MIA) 2:25PM Arrival
- G37749 Miami (MIA) 9:45PM Departure → Brasilia (BSB) 8:20AM (+1) Arrival
- G37732 Fortaleza (FOR) 8:35AM Departure → Miami (MIA) 2:05PM Arrival
- G37733 Miami (MIA) 10:00PM Departure → Fortaleza (FOR) 7:15AM (+1) Arrival
Gol is partners with Delta, which currently owns 9 percent of the airline, so you can actually earn and redeem SkyMiles with the carrier. Here’s Delta’s earning chart with Gol:
Gol operates two cabin configurations on their aircraft, one in an all-economy layout and the other with 154 economy seats in 3-3 and 16 business class recliner chairs in a 2-2 arrangement. It’s unclear what the layout of the new MAX aircraft will be, although Gol has said the single-class configuration will feature 186 seats, a 5% increase from the current single-class 177. On the Florida routes, Gol may opt for a two-class layout instead.
Gol will face an American Airlines 757 on the Brasilia-Miami route, while LATAM currently operates a wide-body 767 from Fortaleza to Miami. And on July 5, LATAM will launch service between Orlando and Fortaleza. The only route Gol won’t face competition on will be between Brasilia and Orlando.
Aerolineas Argentinas plans on flying a MAX 8 between Buenos Aires (EZE) and Punta Cana (PUJ) starting this summer, which will become the lengthiest 737 flight before Gol launches the Orlando flights in the fall.
Featured image courtesy of Boeing.
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