The Brazilian startup Ita Transportes Aéreos will start selling tickets today and has announced which cities will serve in the domestic market. Ita’s launch is imminent as South America prepares to have a new carrier, the first to officially fly in the post-COVID environment in the region. Let’s investigate further.
It’s the final countdown
Ita Transportes Aereos is starting its domestic operations next month, on June 29 and 30. That week, the airline will take its maiden flight on June 29, although it hasn’t said which route will cover. Today, like Breeze Airways in the US, you can start buying your tickets.
On June 30, Ita will officially start operations from eight Brazilian cities. As reported by Correio Braziliense, these cities are:
- Belo Horizonte-Confins
- Porto Alegre
- Porto Seguro
- Rio de Janeiro-Galeao
- Sao Paulo Guarulhos
It will start operations with two A320 aircraft. Data from ch-aviation shows that one of these is PS-SPJ, a 15-year-old A320, previously operated by Spanair and most recently by Spanish low-cost airline, Vueling. It has been registered to Ita since February this year, and looks set to be joined by more aircraft soon.
ch-aviation shows a further eight A320s scheduled to arrive with Ita in the coming months. Aged between seven and 17 years old, these aircraft have flown for a variety of other carriers before their arrival in Brazil. Three have come from Turkish Airlines, two from SilkAir, and the rest from Volaris and IndiGo Airlines.
Earlier this month, the Civil Aviation National Authority (ANAC) gave Ita its Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Additionally, ANAC approved Ita’s concession as a domestic operator in Brazil. This step was the last of the five the startup needed before actually becoming an airline.
Beware Azul, GOL, and LATAM; there’s a new player in town
Ita Transportes Aéreos has a big name behind its push, Itapemirim. While maybe this name is not well known outside of Brazil, it is the largest bus company in the South American country. For nearly 70 years, Itapemirim has connected Brazilians all over the territory.
Now, Itapemirim is exiting a five years old bankruptcy process, ready to bang the Brazilians with a new airline. As reported by Reuters, Sidney Piva, president of Itapemirim Group, said this week,
“We have the intention of being the largest airline in Brazil, with all due respect to our competitors.”
The carrier expects to grow from two airplanes to ten in the short term and then to 50. But, “we’re not going to stop at just those 50 aircraft; we plan to multiply that number several times,” added Piva.
The road ahead for Ita will be hard. Azul, GOL, and LATAM heavily dominate the Brazilian domestic market. These three carriers hold 99% of the market share. Nevertheless, there’s room for growth. Pre-COVID, Brazil had 0.4 yearly trips per capita, meaning most Brazilians don’t hop on a plane once a year.
More cities going forward
Ita Transportes Aéreos already has more cities under its scope. Starting on August 1, the airline plans to connect six more Brazilian destinations. These are:
By June 2022, the new Brazilian airline expects to increase its route map and have 35 destinations across the country. As the airline said on Facebook,
“To travel is to live. And, for us, it is more important how to get somewhere than to get there. After almost 70 years carrying dreams and people, we decided to breathe new air and see the world from the top. Itapemirim Transportes Aereos has arrived.”
Are you excited about the launch of Ita Transportes Aéreos? Let us know in the comments.