Brazil’s Azul Prepares For A June Increase In Demand

Azul Linhas Aereas is increasing its schedule in June to 168 flights per day. In April, the Brazilian carrier had 70 flights per day and in May is operating 115 daily departures. Is this a sign of a positive rebound in the Brazilian air market? Let’s investigate further.

Azul airline Embraer E195E1 Getty Images
Azul will operate more flights in June. Photo: Getty Images

We see a positive trend: Azul

In June, Azul will be flying to 57 domestic destinations, up from 38 cities served in May and 25 in April, the carrier stated. In April, the three domestic Brazilian airlines operated a skeleton route organized by the government. 

Abhi Shah, Azul’s Chief Revenue Officer, stated,

“Although our June capacity is still 80% down year over year, we see a positive trend in demand since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.”

One of the big highlights next month will be that Azul will operate again from Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo. The low-cost carrier will return to this airport from 15 June. This decision came after analyzing the current lift travel restrictions in the country. Azul expects the state of Sao Paulo to ease these restrictions in the first week of June. 

Azul Airlines and TAM
Azul’s capacity is still 80% down. Photo: Getty Images

Azul’s most significant asset: the fleet

“Our fleet flexibility and network connectivity allow us to deploy the capacity that can efficiently capture the most demand during this period,” Shah said. Currently, Azul has a fleet composed of 146 aircraft. Its primary type of aircraft is the Embraer E-190, of which it has 53 units. 

The airline has had this model for the past 11 years. It has been the foundation of Azul’s business model, said John Rodgerson, the airline CEO. 

Abhi Shah added that the carrier has aircraft ranging from nine to 214 seats. This flexibility allows the company to customize its network to the evolving demand scenario. 

Nevertheless, as we saw last week, Azul delayed the delivery of 59 Embraer aircraft until 2024. 

The airlines in Brazil are joining forces to face the crisis. Photo: Alexf via Wikimedia Commons.

Brazilian airlines leave aside the competition with each other

In an interview with local newspaper Panrotas, the CEO’s of the three domestic airlines in Brazil left aside their differences. Rodgerson said that he had more fun fighting with the other airlines for slots in Sao Paulo than facing a pandemic.

We are not against one another, he added. Now, when not a single aircraft in the world has value, is the time to be together and save the industry, Rodgerson said. 

Currently, the three carriers are looking for a financial aid package but haven’t yet got to an agreement with the government. Last Friday, the Brazilian authorities confirmed that LATAM accepted a US$683 million bailout

LATAM flying over city
LATAM accepted almost $700m in bailout funds. Photo: Tom Boon / Simple Flying

Jerome Cadier, LATAM Brazil’s CEO, said that the airlines are doing their part. They are giving flexibility to their passengers to rebook and put their flights until next year. “But we also need that flexibility with our providers, to make our costs smaller and optimize what we can,” he said. 

Finally, the three carriers also asked the Brazilian government to reduce the tax cost in the country. The objective of this initiative would be the domestic market growth. Rodgerson claimed that there hadn’t been any foreign investment in the region since Avianca Brazil bankruptcy due to the high costs of flying in the country. 

“It is a shame that Colombia has more passengers per person than Brazil. Many Brazilians know France more than they now the Iguazu Falls”, he stated. 

What do you think is going to happen with Azul? Let us know in the comments.