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Airlines fear overcrowded World Cup airports

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Concerns over untested baggage handling systems

Airlines are increasingly worried that the Brazilian government could hit them with an avalanche of fines during the World Cup, because of delayed flights and lost bags at already overcrowded airports, according to IATA chief Tony Tyler.

Airport expansion projects are still behind, with less than four months before kick-off. Brazil’s busiest airport, in Sao Paulo, is struggling to complete a new terminal, while other airports are preparing temporary tents to receive the surge in passengers.

This means that airlines are worried they will face untested baggage handling systems and packed terminal buildings. Brazil’s biggest airports are already beyond capacity.

“It’s very unfair to hold the airlines responsible for every disruption that happens if frankly it’s a problem of the infrastructure,” Tyler said before visiting Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport.

Airlines are adding hundreds of international routes and almost 2,000 new domestic flights to cope with an expected 600,000 foreign football fans and millions of Brazilian tourists.

Reuters

[pictured: Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport, pictured in 2007]

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