Virgin Atlantic and Brazilian airline GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes have revealed a host of new codeshare routes. The news comes ahead of the inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from London/Heathrow to Sao Paulo on March 29, 2020.
As part of the deal, passengers booking with the British carrier will able to connect seamlessly onto GOL flights to 37 destinations across Brazil, including Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Recife. In a statement, the two carriers said they plan to expand their codeshare further “in the near future” with the addition of flights to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. A reciprocal frequent flyer programme is also expected “soon”.
GOL’s status as the largest domestic airline in the South American nation will help drive traffic on Virgin’s new transatlantic route – it’s first foray into the region. In total, the carrier offers 750 daily flights to 76 destinations across the Americas with an all-Boeing fleet of 737 narrowbodies. It is understood that strong freight demand between the two continents also forms a key component in the wider business case for the new operation.
The new long-haul service will fly daily using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner examples, fitted with the airline’s full range of cabins. In terms of seating, this translates as 31 in Upper Class, 35 in Premium, 36 Economy delight and 156 Economy classic/light. The year-round frequency has a scheduled flight time of 11 hours and 55 minutes and has been issued flight numbers VS197/8.