Amid merger speculation, Brazilian airline Gol says parent talking with Azul

By Thomson Reuters May 28, 2024 | 6:31 PM

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian airline Gol said on Tuesday its parent company Abra Group has started talks with airline Azul to “explore opportunities,” following media reports earlier this year that pointed to a potential merger.

A possible agreement between Abra Group, a Latin American airline holding company, and Azul “would not be binding for Gol,” it added in a securities filing but without going into further detail.

Abra Group was formed in 2022 to combine Brazilian carrier Gol and Colombia’s Avianca under a common holding company jointly controlled by the main shareholders of both firms. Abra Group is Gol’s largest secured creditor, according to the securities filing.

Last week, Gol and Azul announced a codeshare agreement connecting their networks and frequent flyer programs, a move that reignited speculation about a potential merger between both Brazilian airlines.

Earlier this year, Gol filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States while Azul denied negotiations over any deal with Gol.

(Reporting by Andre Romani; Editing by David Alire Garcia)