Azul Reopens Rio Base While Launching New Domestic Routes

Azul Linhas Aereas will restart its commercial operations from Galeao International Airport (GIG) in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2021. Additionally, Azul is resuming operations on one extra route and launching three new leisure destinations near Brazil’s largest cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. 

Azul is launching new domestic routes in Brazil for the summer season. Photo: Azul Linhas Aereas

Where will it fly to?

According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, the Brazilian low-cost carrier will start flying on January 1 from Rio de Janeiro to Campinas (VCP). After six months of pausing its flights from Rio’s largest airport, Azul is planning its return

The airline will operate 13 frequencies per week, before increasing it to 27 on February 1. To run this route, Azul will deploy its Embraer E195 fleet. 

Campinas is one of the largest Brazilian cities. Its airport is currently the fourth most important in Brazil. It received 4.94 million passengers in 2020.

But even before it reopens its Rio de Janeiro base, Azul is reopening one base and launching three new destinations. 

On December 14, Azul will be reopening its route between Belo Horizonte (CNF) and Cabo Frio (CFB). It will operate 27 weekly flights between both cities. Additionally, Azul will be flying, for the first time, from Congonhas International Airport (CGH) in Sao Paulo to Cabo Frio, starting January 1. Azul will operate these flights with ATR 72-600 aircraft, with a capacity for 70 passengers. 

Azul Conecta
Azul will fly to three new destinations using its branch Azul Conecta. Photo: Azul Linhas Aereas

New destinations

Moreover, the low-cost carrier is launching three new destinations: Angra dos Reis (SDAG), Paraty (SDTK), and Buzios (BZC). These are the flights that Azul will be launching:

  1. Congonhas-Angra dos Reis. Starting on 17 December with one frequency per day. 
  2. Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont (SDU)- Angra dos Reis. It will start on 19 December with four weekly frequencies. 
  3. Congonhas-Paraty. Starting on 17 December with one frequency per day. 
  4. Santos Dumont-Paraty. Starting on 19 December with four frequencies per week.
  5. Belo Horizonte-Buzios. Starting on 17 December with one daily frequency
  6. Santos Dumont-Buzios. Starting on 19 December with four frequencies per week. 
Azul domestic routes
These are Azul’s recently announced routes for December and January. Photo: Great Circle Mapper

Azul Conecta’s development

The cities of Angra dos Reis, Paraty, and Buzios are small leisure destinations. Angra dos Reis is even being called the ‘Brazilian Cancun.’ Despite the marketing appeal, these cities are aeronautically underdeveloped. Angra dos Reis airport, for instance, can’t handle large aircraft. 

That’s why Azul is deploying its recent acquisition, Azul Conecta, to these markets. 

Azul Conecta is a regional carrier with a fleet of 17 Cessna Caravan. These planes have a capacity for nine passengers. 

In Simple Flying, we’ve previously discussed the importance of Azul Conecta with Marcelo Bento Ribeiro, Network Planning, Alliances, and Azul Viagens director. 

Azul Getty
Brazil expects to end the year with an 80% domestic capacity recovery. Photo: Getty Images.

Why launching these flights?

The Brazilian carriers are deploying more and more capacity into the domestic market. Currently, the Government expects to end the year with an 80% domestic capacity recovery compared to 2019. Moreover, the summer season is arriving in the country. 

This means Azul is planning to boost domestic tourism. That’s the main reason for launching these new routes and restarting its operations from Galeao. 

Marcelo Bento Ribeiro said,

“We have so many new offers for our high season, and Rio will be one of the most benefitted states by our special operations. With the dual operation of Azul and Azul Conecta, we will reach new destinations, we will have a big offer from Cabo Frio, and we will reopen Galeao, offering more destinations for Brazilians.” 

Have you ever traveled to Brazilian Cancun? How was it? Let us know in the comments.