No Plans For Gol Aerotech Engine Overhauls

Gol has cleared its debt repayments for the next three years and negotiated deep cost cuts via agreements with staff and suppliers.
Credit: Boeing Airplanes Via Twitter

With coronavirus taking an increasing toll in Brazil, the country’s airlines have had to follow their peers around the world and ground progressively more aircraft.

In March, Gol only had 25% of its fleet grounded, but by April this had risen to 92%, or 120 Boeing 737 aircraft.

The airline forecasts 45% lower capacity in 2020 than last year and is taking steps to conserve cash that include the deferral of heavy maintenance.

Much of this is performed by Gol Aerotech, the business unit launched last year from its 145,000-sq-m maintenance center in Confins.

Designed to perform in-house and third-party work, the facility has two maintenance hangars and one paint hangar, plus six workshops capable of repairing and overhauling wheels, brakes and steel structures, as well as the inspection of engines and other components.

During a recent earnings call, one analyst asked whether Gol Aerotech might be used to insource engine overhauls away from providers, such Delta TechOps, which Gol currently uses.

However, such speculation was quickly quashed by Gol’s chief financial officer, Richard Lark, who said that the airline’s fleet would need to be much bigger to justify such an investment.

“It's a very specific niche business, which requires a very large capital investment,” he pointed out.
“It would not make sense for us to have that investment for our size business, whereas when you get these mega global airlines, at some point it makes sense for them to do it. We're far away from that.”

Lark added that Gol would continue to outsource its engine overhauls to providers in Brazil and beyond, naming examples such as GE, Delta TechOps and AFI KLM E&M.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.