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Azul, LATAM Group outline plans for US-Brazil Open Skies
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Azul, LATAM Group outline plans for US-Brazil Open Skies

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Campinas Viracopos) Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Abhi Shah, says the Brazilian carrier will look at securing a joint-venture with partner United Airlines (UA, Chicago O’Hare) following the Brazilian Senate’s recent passing of the US-Brazil Open Skies agreement.

The accession comes almost seven years after the agreement was signed by the Brazilian and US governments. The bill was already approved by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies on December 19, 2017.

Speaking during an earnings call last week, Shah said there have already been early talks between the sides over the JV. However, with the ratification of the Open Skies agreement, Azul and United will now look to put together a commercial agreement that can then be submitted to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for consideration.

“Looking at the US-Brazil [market], Azul is to the point where we are about 4-5 daily widebodies to the US; United is also about five widebodies US-Brazil,” he said. “The great thing about this partnership with United is that we have no overlap. A lot of synergies, lots of ways that we can work together; our networks are very complimentary.”

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Azul’s US services focus on the Floridian airports of Orlando Int’l and Fort Lauderdale Int’l which it connects with the Brazilian airports of Belém (Fort Lauderdale), Belo Horizonte Tancredo Neves (Orlando), Campinas Viracopos (both), and Recife (both). For its part, United focusses on connecting each of Chicago O’Hare, Houston Intc’l, Newark, and Washington Dulles with São Paulo Guarulhos as well as Houston with Rio de Janeiro Int’l.

In the US-Brazil market, United and Azul have a combined 25.67% of the weekly seating market (United with 8,295 seats/week and Azul with 7,200 seats/week). By comparison, American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) is the largest operator in the market with 19,206 seats/week (31.81%) followed by LATAM Airlines Brasil (JJ, São Paulo Congonhas) with 13,569 seats/week and Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) with 14.2% or 8,573 seats/week…

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