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Interview with Eduardo Busch, CEO of VOEPASS Linhas Aéreas
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Interview with Eduardo Busch, CEO of VOEPASS Linhas Aéreas

VOEPASS is a Brazilian airline based in the city of Riberao Preto, São Paulo. Its main hub is the airport Leite Lopes, with secondary hubs in Guarulhos and Brasilia, from where it serves passengers and cargo in the regional segment, with a fleet of 15 ATR 72 and ATR 42 aircraft, which currently allows it to operate in 38 cities in all regions of the country, including 7 destinations in the Amazon region.

Since 2012 VOEPASS has been certified with IOSA, IATA’s internationally recognized and accepted Operational Safety Audit Program, designed to evaluate an airline’s operational management and control systems. The airline is currently a member of ABEAR, ALTA and now IATA.

To learn more about the airline’s present and future, ALN talked to Eduardo Busch, CEO of VOEPASS Linhas Aérea

1– Voepass has just become a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), what does this new partnership mean to you?

Since the beginning VOEPASS has always had the support of IATA, but only as a customer, consuming specific products. Now, as full member, we will be able to participate broadly in the full range of services and products. This has an important meaning for VOEPASS, confirming our alignment with the best practices of the air transportation industry worldwide.

2- There is still a huge potential in Brazil and in the region to have more people flying. What are your plans to take advantage of this potential and how can we get more people flying?

We believe in a regional air transport model focused on capillarity, working together with the major airlines. This way, we leverage our product with scale benefits, allowing for perennial operations in markets of low and medium demand linked to large centers in Brazil. Currently, we have our network connected in codeshare with approximately 70% of the market share in the country, through partnerships signed with two of the largest airlines in Brazil.

3- What is your vision for the future of regional aviation?

Like the entire aviation industry, we are closely following the technological innovations that will allow for less environmental impact and more operational efficiency with less cost. This greater efficiency will allow an even greater development of regional capillarity, allowing access to air transport by a much larger number of customers. Furthermore, Brazilian regional aviation has been maturing with the implementation of capacity purchase agreements (CPA), which will also allow its further expansion, being a business model already consolidated in Europe and North America. In Brazil VOEPASS was pioneer in this CPA operation.

4- What is the importance of secondary or even tertiary cities in your growth strategy? What challenges do you have to overcome to serve these communities?

In some markets we find operational bottlenecks, which are being overcome by public and private investments in airports and by regulatory flexibilization. However, the biggest bottleneck will always be the existence of demand, in a scenario of high costs that require higher fares and end up restricting access to a larger number of customers. It is worth remembering that in some cases the fuel cost in these markets can be more than twice as high as in the main markets.

5- Could you share with us your growth plans and the role your fleet will play in achieving this? Could Voepass operate any routes out of Brazil at some point?

We operate in a continental dimension country, and we see a huge potential for growth for VOEPASS. After the pandemic and with the uncertainties of the war, we took a conservative position in the short and medium term projections. However, we are working so that in the next 3 years we can operate in approximately 70 destinations in Brazil, operating up to 25 ATR aircraft fleet. These operations will be carried out both under capacity purchase agreements and in our own operations carried out in codeshare with our partners. Regarding potential international operations, we look at South America as a potential expansion market for the future.

6- With the pandemic, we had some important mergers announcements, consolidation and new forms of partnership across the region. How do you see this scenario evolving in Brazil and in the region? What role does Voepass play in these new partnerships?

The crisis made players in the industry review all plans, including strategic ones. This led to this adjustment movement, which seems to be settling down now. Our role continues to be strategic with our partners, when we assume their capillarity. In the case of capacity purchase contracts, for example, we allow our partner to directly access these secondary markets, which they would not be able to access with their narrow bodys, without requiring them to diversify their operation with a fleet mix. This allows greater focus and operational efficiency for our partners.

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Fuente: ALN
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