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David Neeleman to Launch Brazil-based Airline; Gol Likely Pooped Self (figuretively)

JetBlue’s founder David Neeleman announced that he has raised $150 million and ordered 36 Embraer aircraft to launch an as-yet-unnamed airline in Brazil.  Neeleman hopes to get the Sao Paulo-based carrier off the ground in early 2009.  If you speak Portuguese, you can check out his site about the airline here.  If you do not speak Portuguese, you should find a friend or stranger who speaks Portuguese and ask them to translate.

The new airline will offer the JetBlue frills of free TV and leather seats, while the E-195 aircraft should allow him to make some money flying with fewer people than primary competitor Gol does with their 737s.  I imagine the fine (and cash-rich) folks at Gol, who, to be honest, knew this was coming, cannot be happy about this situation.

Gol has changed the face of aviation in Brazil, opening the skies up to lots of people who never flew before.  But there’s always room for a better product with a lower cost base, and I’m fairly certain Neeleman can provide that.

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  1. I read a lot about how the RJ market is going downhill because of fuel costs. And yet both JetBlue and this new venture are using new small e-195 jets. does that mean the e-195 is more fuel efficient (higher loads, maybe) than a RJ, or the reason the RJ market in the US is tanking is not so much fuel as the lack of business/last minute travel to small destinations……

  2. Hi Charlie,

    The E-195 is sometimes called a regional jet because Embraer primarily makes RJ’s, but it’s really just a smaller regular jet (the costs are more like a regular jet, not like an RJ). Neeleman’s point is that Brazil has many markets better served by 100-seat planes than larger 737-sized planes – i think this is a good point, and could give him a cost advantage over Gol and TAM.

  3. Neeleman hit the nail right on the head. His new airline will act in a gigantic underserved market with non-stop flights. Save a major economic crisis, he will fly high for a long time to come.

  4. Hey guys, JetBlue currently uses Embraer 190`s and Airbus 320`s. Just an FYI!
    Good luck David in Brazil! He`ll be great!

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