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Gol Advances as Percentage of Filled Seats Increased in April

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Brazil’s second-biggest airline, rose after it said the average percentage of seats filled by fare-paying customers increased last month.

Shares rose 1.2 percent to 9.59 reais at 2:21 p.m. in Sao Paulo after earlier increasing 4.2 percent, the steepest intraday gain in almost two weeks. The benchmark Bovespa index dropped 1.3 percent.

Gol’s overall load factor climbed to 71.1 percent in April from 64.3 percent in March, according to a company press release today. The increase came as the carrier is retrenching as it tries to return to profitability amid higher labor costs.

“This shows the strategy of cutting not so profitable flights and improving management of ticket pricing is working, so results can be positive again,” Leonardo Ribeiro Nitta, an analyst at Banco do Brasil, said by phone from Sao Paulo.

Gol, based in Sao Paulo, posted this month a 41.4 million reais ($20.7 million) consolidated net loss in the first quarter, compared with net income of 69.4 million reais a year earlier.

The company dismissed 131 crew members and cut 80 of its 900 daily flights and is on schedule to spin off its frequent-flier business, known as Smiles, executives said on a conference call on May 4. Total dismissal this year will reach 1,200 by the end of June, newspaper Valor Economico reported today.

Rival Tam SA lost 3.1 percent to 42.22 reais today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Denyse Godoy in Sao Paulo at dgodoy2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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