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Gol Linhas Posts Robust September Traffic on Solid Demand

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Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL - Free Report) reported air traffic figures for September. Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), climbed 15.5% to 3.42 billion. While international RPK surged 49.2%, domestic RPK grew 11.5% in the month.

On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat kilometers/ASKs) was up 11% to 4.21 billion, primarily on 42% expansion in international capacity. Moreover, the carrier witnessed a 14.9% increase in passenger count during September.

Load factor, percentage of seats filled by passengers, inched up to 81.2% from 78.1% a year ago as traffic growth exceeded capacity expansion.

At the end of nine months in 2019, RPK increased 10.2% (with 44.9% rise in international RPK) while ASK grew 6.3% (owing to 38% expansion in international ASK). Also, load factor for the period improved 280 basis points. Moreover, the company recorded a 2.4% rise in the volume of departures whereas the number of seats occupied by passengers was up 4.8%.

Gol Linhas, which competes with the likes of Azul SA (AZUL - Free Report) , Copa Holdings, S.A. (CPA - Free Report) and LATAM Airlines Group S.A. (LTM - Free Report) in the Latin American space, is thriving on the back of solid demand especially on the international front as evidenced by its strong traffic results. Owing to this tailwind, the carrier’s passenger revenues rose 21.2% in the first half of 2019. Further aiding the company’s performance is the improvement in yields and its focus on capacity discipline.

With demand for air travel expected to remain strong in Latin America, Gol Linhas should keep reaping benefits from the buoyant environment.

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