THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014

SAO PAULO–Brazilian budget airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL, GOLL4.BR) reported a first-quarter loss due to an increase in costs, and the airline said it is planning more international flights to increase its foreign currency revenue.

The company late Wednesday said it posted a net loss of 96.1 million reais ($43 million) in the first quarter, compared with a loss of BRL75.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

It attributed its loss to the increase of its operational and debt-service costs. Gol’s operating costs and expenses, including aircraft fuel expenses, increased 18.5% in the period to BRL2.35 billion. In the meantime, the company’s debt service costs picked up 81.2% to BRL193.8 million.

Gol’s net revenue totaled BRL2.49 billion in the first quarter, up 19.7% from the year ago period.

“The company is maintaining its strategy of gradually increasing its international market presence and its foreign-currency denominated revenue. With this in mind, it has announced a series of initiatives, including the re-start of flights between Santiago (Chile) and Sao Paulo (Guarulhos airport), scheduled to begin in July, as well as new flights between Brazil and the United States from Campinas (Viracopos Airport) to Miami via Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, where passengers will be able to connect to a flight to Orlando,” Gol said in a statement.

The company’s international flights currently represent about 10% of its revenues.

Gol reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rental costs, or Ebitdar, of BRL492.7 million in the first quarter, compared with BRL366.5 million a year earlier.

Gol ended the period with a net debt of BRL2.6 billion, down from BRL3.7 billion in the year-ago period.