I read a rumour today, on one of the yahoo groups that RG was looking at a merger with TAM. Varig, as you may be aware, is going through a very bad time at the moment and there is/was a distinct possibility it could go "belly up". This would, of course, be a tragedy, not least because Varig is a VERY fine airline and is effectively Brazil's flag carrier, being the most widely known Brazilian airline abroad. It has recently cancelled orders for four 777s.
Perhaps some of our Brazilian readers might be able to assist with this?
If this did happen, what name would it take? Would it simply amount to a takeover by TAM of Varig's intercontinental routes, thus the VARIG name would disappear? What kind of fleet would we be looking at? I would have to guess it would be mostly Airbus. The MD11s and 767s would probably be replaced by more A330-200s and the combined carrier would probably introduce A340-300s, possibly even A340-5/600s in time to come.
Whatever the outcome, RG is in very serious trouble and with the Brazilian economy not doing well and the new president, Lula, focusing on poverty and social issues, there's unlikely to be any government aid to get it out of its problems.