May 4, 2020 / 12:14 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil airline Gol says it has enough cash to run until the end of the year

(Recasts with cash scenario)

By Marcelo Rochabrun

SAO PAULO, May 4 (Reuters) - Brazil's largest airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes said on Monday it has enough cash to keep the airline afloat until the end of the year and still have significant reserves leftover, despite the coronavirus crisis.

Still, the airline was bleeding money before the outbreak grounded almost all air traffic around the world. In the first quarter, Gol posted a loss of 2.3 billion reais ($419 million), almost entirely due to the depreciation of the Brazilian currency.

Coronavirus barely factored in the steep loss, Gol said. A year ago, the airline posted a loss of 32 million reais.

Airlines pay for aircraft leases and oil in dollars, which is a risk for emerging market carriers that operate with volatile currencies.

The results are unaudited, Gol said, because its independent accountants requested two more weeks to finish their review. What the accountants may have to say, however, is significant in the middle of this crisis.

Last month, accountants for Colombian carrier Avianca Holdings said they had "substantial doubt" about the ability of the airline to exist a year from now.

Gol said it hopes to reduce its daily cash burn rate to 7 million reais in the second half of 2020. If it accomplishes this rate, it said it would have 2.6 billion reais in cash at the end of 2020.

Like many carriers around the world, Gol is not expecting a fast recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

$1 = 5.4856 reais Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun Editing by Nick Zieminski

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