GOL confirms it will cancel one of the longest 737 MAX routes

The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aéreas will suspend flights between Brasilia International Airport (BSB) and Cancun International Airport (CUN) from February 2023. In a statement sent to Simple Flying, the airline confirmed that it was eliminating this route due to the Mexican government’s introduction of a visa for Brazilian citizens, which impacts the overall performance of the route, which was first introduced in 2019.


Why is the GOL removing the Brasilia-Cancun route?

A few days ago it was reported that GOL reduced the number of weekly frequencies on the route between Brasilia and Cancun. This route is operated on board the airline Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane, with a capacity of 186 passengers. This is the third longest non-stop service in the world on board this model, behind Brasilia-Orlando (also operated by GOL) and Buenos Aires-Punta Cana (served by Aerolineas Argentinas).

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GOL was reducing the number of weekly services on this route despite a load factor of 98% in May (although it dropped sharply to 65% in September 2022). Simple Flying contacted the airline for comment yesterday. GOL said,

“GOL informs that it will suspend its flights between Brasília (BSB) and Cancún (CUN) from February 4, 2023. The measure is related to the recent need for a Mexican visa for Brazilian tourists, which has reduced the demand for this route. GOL understands that the balance between supply and demand is fundamental to a sustainable aviation industry.

From November 4, 2022 to February 3, 2023, GOL will have only one weekly flight to the Mexican city, always on Fridays, except for 13/11, 28/12, 04/01 and 18/01, due to the accommodation needs of customers.

The flights have already exited the sales systems and the process of communicating with affected customers has begun. The company says the route will be suspended but can resume as soon as the company reassesses the financial viability of the operation.

Photo: Lukas Souza | Single flight.

Why Mexico imposed a visa requirement on Brazilian travelers?

On August 3, 2022, the Mexican government announced that all Brazilian citizens would now require a visa to enter the country, effective August 18. Previously, Brazilian citizens only needed electronic authorization if they wanted to travel to Mexico for tourism, business or cultural activities.

Mexican authorities have stated that the imposition of the visa requirement was made to combat human trafficking. Furthermore, he added that he will continue to cooperate with the Brazilian authorities in the search for mutually acceptable solutions to ensure safe, orderly and regular transit and to fight against international organized crime. The Brazilian government did not retaliate against the Mexican measure and did not impose visa requirements on Mexican citizens.

Photo: Lukas Souza | Single flight.

Air connectivity between Brazil and Mexico

In October 2022, there were 16 weekly flights between Brazil and Mexico, operated by three airlines, Aeromexico, GOL and LATAM. Since these two countries are the two largest economies in Latin America, direct connectivity between them is rare.

Aeromexico and LATAM operate daily flights on the São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) – Mexico City (MEX) route. Both airlines use their fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliners on these flights. GOL exclusively operates the Brasília-Cancún route.

What do you think of the cancellation of the Brasilia-Cancun link by GOL Linhas Aéreas? Let us know in the comments below.

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