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Brazil's Gol speeds up fleet renewal to reduce debt costs

SAO PAULO, Dec 26 () - Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA said it will replace 13 Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG) aircraft with the newer Boeing 737 MAX-8 between 2019 and 2021 as part of a plan to accelerate its fleet renewal and reduce debt costs.

In a securities filing on Wednesday, Gol said the decision to execute sale and leaseback agreements with investment firms Castlelake and Apollo Aviation comes during a favorable time for selling NGs.

Under the plan, 13 NGs will be returned upon receipt of the more fuel-efficient 737 MAX-8 jets, which will make up the backbone of the Brazilian carrier's fleet. Gol's planned capacity will not change as a result of the renewal plan, it said.

The move will reduce the company's net debt by approximately 1.1 billion reais ($280.48 million), it said.

Editing by Matthew Lewis)


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