VoePass, a Brazilian airline that emerged from the merger of Passaredo and MAP Linhas Aereas, announced on Monday that it had started the certification process to operate larger aircraft than its ATR turboprops.
The goal is to have Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 jets, with capacity for between 144 and 180 seats, starting in the first half of 2022, the company said.
“We understand that the fleet adjustment, with the inclusion of higher capacity equipment, will complement our strategy to serve medium-sized regional markets, enhancing operations at Congonhas Airport,” said Eduardo Busch, CEO of VoePass Linhas Aereas.
Congonhas airport, the second busiest in Brazil, is located in a central region of São Paulo and its slots have been disputed by all airlines in the country.
VoePass stated that the number of Boeing 737s to be purchased will depend on slot distribution. “We are investing to certify the Boeing 737 in our operations, believing in the recovery of the economy and the air travel sector in our country,” said José Luiz Felício Filho, President of VoePass.
Acquisition agreement by Gol
The announcement of the choice of the Boeing 737 NG to expand its capacity, currently limited to 15 ATR 42 and 72 turboprops, makes sense given the expected approval of the sale of MAP Linhas Aereas to Gol, announced in June.
The $5 million deal in addition to 100,000 Gol shares depends on the approval of CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defense), Brazil’s antitrust authority, which has yet to manifest itself.
Gol has in its fleet the same Boeing 737 NG as sought by VoePass and with a similar seat configuration. But Gol is in the process of migrating to the 737 MAX, which should be the main aircraft in the fleet in the coming years.
Meanwhile, the two companies have strengthened relationships thanks to operating agreements in various regions of the country. It is worth remembering that Passaredo has already flown with jets in the past, such as the widebodies Airbus A310 and ERJ 145, from Embraer.