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Brazil falling short on World Cup flights

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Brazilian may fail to operate 2,000 additional flights

Brazilian airlines are failing to operate nearly 2,000 additional domestic flights made available by authorities during the World Cup, an aviation expert warns.

John Grant, executive vice president of aviation intelligence analysts OAG said that almost 600,000 overseas visitors are planning to travel to Brazil for the football tournament this summer.

But Brazil’s domestic seat capacity, which is currently down 0.5%, is expected to be down by 3% in June and July as airlines fail to pick up the additional flights on offer.

“With the group stages of the World Cup spread between 12 cities across the country, fans will need to travel huge distances to attend the group stage matches, and air travel in most cases is the only realistic option,” Grant said.

But he said it was hard to believe additional air capacity would not be needed in June.

The problem is not one of a lack of airlines, as Brazil has the fourth largest domestic air network in the world. This month there are 10.5 million domestic flights on offer, but this is an 11% drop year-on-year as the airlines have been cutting back as the country’s economy slows.

The lack of flights to match the 3.3 million tickets expected to be sold for the event could make trips to the World Cup expensive.

“Given the country’s good availability of low-cost carriers, fans might be expecting competitive fares. However, with demand outstripping supply of airline seats, this may not happen,” Grant said. “It has been reported that TAM, one of Brazil’s biggest operators, may charge as much as 2,600 reais (€780) per one-way ticket during the tournament.”

TTG Digital

[image courtesy Star Alliance]

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