Incitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 3777 posts, RR: 14 Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1499 times:
Brasilia is a government city. Besides a large population, its airport ranks third in passenger volume behind Sao Paulo's Guarulhos and Congonhas. Most of that traffic is either domestic connections or federal government - domestic too. Compare that to Washington DC where besides a much much richer government with interests around the World, there is a large number of businesses (and foreign lobbists) around it. If there is any nonstop international service out of BSB that would be first to Buenos Aires due to the close cooperation with Argentina.
Belo Horizonte (or Belo Horror according to an AA flight attendant) does not draw enough international traffic. TAP looked at serving it a few times a week and it may happen - maybe as an extension of service to Salvador (SSA). The proximity to Rio and Sao Paulo also dilutes traffic across multiple options, and the backtracking is insignificant.
All TAP services to NE Brazil are sustained through beach tourism. Lately I heard of Portuguese retiring in the Northeast where euros will afford a very good retirement. Take Natal. Like you noticed, it's a fairly small city. But the hotel business is booming. Its airport gets an average of 600 (PAX) international arrivals every day, which is 2-3 flights, mostly charters coming from all over Europe. As I mentioned in another thread, Natal may become the first city in the Northeast to get AA service from Miami.
Incitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 3777 posts, RR: 14 Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1440 times:
Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 3): So there would be no realistic chance of having Lisbon-somewhere-Brasillia in the next, say, 5 years?
I think yes or no to that is just a guess, and my guess would be no.
The state that has Natal as capital (Rio Grande do Norte) has done a great job attracting tourists. No one would have guessed a few years ago that Natal's airport would have more international traffic than Recife's. Success draws competition, so other smaller cities will be after the same market. I think Maceio' (MCZ) south of Recife has an attractive shoreline and could be TAP's next destination. Another city with potential is Sao Luis (SLZ), west of Fortaleza. Sao Luis has a historic center that could be spruced up to attract European tourists. The government in that state is quite incompetent though. They can't even do a good job on trash collection and have an outstanding track record in corruption.
Then TAP may get competition from other airlines. Air France stated that load factors on the two daily flights to Brazil were 90% in February. Club Med has a large presence and is planning a fourth resort. Air France served Recife several years ago and it could enter the market to NE Brazil again with a dedicated flight to SSA, REC, FOR or NAT.
TAP has expressed their wish to open a new destination in Brazil, but we haven't heard much from them as of yet. A.net speculation has been running high (as you may expect) and MAO and/or BEL were two other possible destinations not mentioned above.
I'm not sure they could fill a plane there, but, if they can get the 5th freedoms for it, I think they should extend their LIS-CCS down to MAO instead of a separate flight. They'll be able to fill the cargo hull for sure (MAO is in a free-tax zone with many manufacturing plants there) and not have to rely so much on pax traffic.
I do hope they fly to MAO though.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat