Due to lower levels of expected demand, the Brazilian startup airline ITA has slashed some of its schedules two weeks before its launch. The company has removed three routes entirely and rearranged the number of frequencies on several other flights.
Is ITA beginning with the wrong foot?
ITA Transportes Aereos is flying for the first time next week, on June 29. The Brazilian startup is dreaming big of becoming the most important domestic carrier in the country. To do so, the company planned to launch 75 specific flights from eight Brazilian cities.
Nevertheless, it may have started too eagerly and now has to back up a bit. According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, ITA’s CEO, Adalberto Bogsan, recently said,
“There hasn’t been the initial demand we were expecting. We had to adequate our capacity to have a load factor that matches our start because we can’t launch flights with a loss.”
Therefore, ITA has already scrapped three routes, as reported by Aeroin:
- Sao Paulo Guarulhos-Rio de Janeiro Galeao
- Rio de Janeiro Galeao-Sao Paulo Guarulhos
- Sao Paulo Guarulhos-Porto Seguro.
In total, ITA has gone from 399 weekly frequencies on 75 routes to 317 on 72 routes.
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Other routes that were impacted
Many routes had some sort of impact following ITA’s decision to slash some of its schedules. Here are some examples:
- Guarulhos-Belo Horizonte went from six flights a week to just a couple.
- ITA’s flight IPM 5607 between Porto Seguro-Guarulhos went from six weekly frequencies to just one.
- Porto Alegre-Guarulhos went from one daily flight to just one on Sundays.
ITA’s decision to scrap flights is a good one from the business perspective. Nevertheless, it does take a toll on the confidence the airline is trying to gain from potential customers. Hopefully, for ITA, it will bounce back soon enough, and it will be able to deploy more capacity and increase its routes.
As we reported before, ITA planned to add six more Brazilian destinations on August 1. Furthermore, it expects to have 35 destinations by June 2022. A big fleet and even flights to Europe seem to be on ITA’s future.
In the meantime, the airline pledged to offer a complimentary roundtrip to the affected customers, as reported by airlinegeeks.
ITA’s current fleet
So far, the airline has received four A320s, as reported by the company through their social media channels.
The third aircraft, registration PS-SFC arrived on June 6; meanwhile, the fourth one landed in Brazil on June 14. ITA expects to receive the fifth unit next week, though the company would be only at 50% of what it desired. The Brazilian startup planned to launch operations with a fleet of 10 A320 planes.
Currently, ch-aviation only has registered a couple of ITA’s current planes, PS-SPJ and PS-SFC.
Carlyle Aviation Partners own PS-SPJ; it had its first flight on October 14, 2005. Initially, it flew for Spanair, and then it also operated with Vueling Airlines.
Meanwhile, PS-SFC is 17 years old. It had its first flight on January 28, 2004. Deucalion Aviation Funds owns the plane. Initially, it flew with Valu Air, a carrier from Singapore that ceased operations in 2014. Following its stint with this carrier, the aircraft went to Turkish Airlines. As soon as we know more about the remainder of ITA’s fleet, we’ll update you about it.
What do you think about ITA’s first flight cancellations? Let us know in the comments.