(Adds executive comments, details of earnings)
SAO PAULO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian airline Gol will have more options for bolstering its capital after a move by Congress to allow more foreign investment in national airlines, Chief Executive Officer Paulo Kakinoff said on Wednesday.
A congressional committee vote on Tuesday to eliminate the 20 percent limit on foreign ownership of Brazilian airlines was “a very welcome ... surprise,” Kakinoff told reporters on a conference call.
Since 2012, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA has sold stakes to Delta Air Lines Inc and Air France-KLM SA as it raised funds to add foreign routes and invest in a turnaround strategy after years of heavy losses.
Lifting the limits on foreign capital should encourage competition and help local airlines with funding, Senator Fernando Flexa Ribeiro said, adding that the secretary of civil aviation backed the measure.
Gol shares rose 6 percent in Wednesday trading.
The president and both chambers of Congress must still weigh in before the proposal becomes law.
On Gol’s Wednesday earning call Chief Financial Officer Edmar Lopes also said the airline expects the domestic price of jet fuel to start falling in December.
Gol posted a third-quarter loss of 245 million reais ($96 million), 24 percent bigger than a year earlier, as a currency swing pushed up leasing and debt-servicing costs.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, rose 37 percent from a year earlier to 262 million reais as it expanded into more profitable international routes and trimmed domestic routes to keep planes more full.
The airline continues to grow its overseas network, which should contribute 16 percent to 17 percent of revenue by the end of 2015, up from 13 percent from July to September.
$1 = 2.56 Brazilian reais Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Additional reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello in Brasilia; Writing by Brad Haynes; editing by Andrew Hay