A new air services agreement between the United States and Brazil announced yesterday will result in a near 50 per cent increase in passenger flights between the two countries. It will also eliminate restrictions on the number of airlines that can operate on these routes.
"This agreement will help air carriers meet the growing demand for passenger and cargo services between the US and Brazil," US secretary of transportation, Mary Peters, said. "Now more than ever, it is crucial that we give US carriers every possible opportunity to compete and succeed wherever passengers want to fly."
A previous agreement allowed only four airlines from each country to operate on these routes, which will now no longer be applicable. The agreement also envisages scaling up the number of permissible weekly flights between the two nations in four stages to 154 from the current 105. The scale up will phase in between July 2008 and October 2010.
The agreement will provide US carriers access to Fortaleza, Curitiba and three additional new cities to be selected by US authorities. Currently, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines fly to Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro Galeao.
US and Brazilian carriers will also be allowed to offer codeshare services with partners from third countries.
Cargo flights will also increase to 35 from 24 immediately, and scale up to 42 by 2010. The number of cargo charters will also rise.