Brazil‘s airline Gol‘s net loss almost tripled in the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic reduced demand for flights, it said on Thursday, hours after announcing it was seeking more money from investors.
Gol’s net loss rose to BRL 2.5 billion, compared to a loss of BRL 900 million in the last quarter of 2020, and the company said it expects only a modest increase in demand in the second quarter.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, which for most of the quarter was the worst in the world as measured by the daily number of deaths, hampered a recovery that at the end of last year had left airlines with an optimistic tone.
Gol said travel demand increased by 4% in the third week of April compared to the same week in March and that it now expects its capacity in the second quarter to reach about 61% of pre-pandemic levels.
Passenger revenue between January and March stood at BRL 1.4 billion, down from BRL 1.7 billion in the previous quarter, and half of what the company generated in the same period in 2020.
Gol’s cash equivalents fell to BRL 400 million on March 31.
Although the airline says it has much higher total liquidity, which includes restricted cash, it acknowledged that even that measure dropped significantly in the quarter.
Gol said it does not expect to burn cash in the second quarter, with cash flow at breakeven.
Gol announced on Wednesday night a capital increase of about BRL 512 million in new shares, with the controlling shareholders, the Constantino brothers, revealing that they plan to subscribe up to BRL 270 million in total, at a price per share preferred 24.19 reais.