Flying, eating and sleeping

Trip Start May 16, 2014
1
12
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Trip End Jul 05, 2014


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Today we visited GOL - Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes - headquarters. The offices are formed by a group of small buildings, all belonging to different departments. The feeling I had during the visit was of being in a small town in the middle of a big city with its own airport. 
Ms.Claudia Carvalho, Corporate Sales Coordinator, gave us an introduction of the company and their willingness to be the best airline for travel, work and investment in Brazil. One of their main goals is to gain passengers for the route São Paulo - Rio de Janeiro, the most profitable one, by improving their services by offering lower fares and adding extra space between seats. 

This week we have learned about the different factors that make the Brazilian market a unique one, apart from the invoicing culture, airlines such as GOL and the majority of hotels can not be find in GDS. This is a challenge for the travel agencies, which in some cases. have developed their own tools to make their search easier, faster and cheaper. 
I found very interesting to compare GOL business model to what I know about some of the European LCC. Moreover, I could not avoid thinking about Emirates and Etihad as the topic is the same.Anyway, this time is hard to compare the airlines as their business model and strategy is far to different. 

The main reason why GOL is not in GDS is to reduce costs. I wonder if low-cost and high level of services can coexist in the space of the airline industry. GOL is trying to provide the best service with their pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight experience to be able to compete with TAM, the biggest airline in the Brazilian market nowadays.
As we learned from our previous meeting with Professor Elizabeth Kyoko Wada, the new Brazilian middle class requires much more information when traveling  because some of the them might have never heard the word "check-in" before. What for english speakers could be something obvious, for the rest of non english native speakers that could be a challenge. Therefore, GOL is trying to be a friendly airline in terms of providing "easy" instructions to travelers to make the process easier.  

Moreover, as food and drinks have been a highlight during this week, I should talk about the wonderful lunch we had with Isabela Perazza, International Sales Manger at Sheraton. She is one of the most inspiring people I met this week and also the responsible of making our stay at the Sheraton an unforgettable experience. Even though I usually don't like to spend much time in the hotel rooms, this time was impossible not to. Probably this was the most beautiful and comfortable room I have ever been to. The negative part about it: I am becoming a hotel snob. 

This week ended the best way possible: perfect weather, a bike tour in the Ibirapuera Park and a stop by one of Niemeyer's famous structures, the Auditorium. Niemeyer is considerer to be a key figure in the development of modern architecture. 
This week has opened my eyes to see the corporate travel industry from different perspectives. Having the opportunity to compare completely different destinations such as Dubai and São Paulo, makes the learning process much valuable. Moreover, I became more aware of the role that culture and traditions play in the industry and how big events like a FIFA World Cup or the Olympics can be a challenge and at the same time a source of revenue. 

Big THANKS to Maria for this incredible week together and for sharing with us her experience in this industry, funny moments and unforgettable meetings. 

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Comments

Maria on

It was a pleasure spending the week with you and Megan. Today I came across this.....Sao Paulo, which is also colloquially known as "Sampa" or "Cidade da Garoa" (city of drizzle), is known for its unreliable weather....
It certainly lived up to its reputation during our visit! Hope you enjoy your week in Atlanta.

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