Very interesting post!
Currently the only airline serving LAX
(with direct flights) from deep South America (GRU
, etc) is VARIG (RG
operates a 5 x week flights GIG
with the MD11. Traffic (load + yields) are excellent. Before 09/11 this was RG
's most profitable flight!
JAL operates 4 x week NRT
with the 747 (this service operated via LAX
until some time ago). By coincidence, last week I talked to a JAL manager in NY and they told me that their flights to GRU
were equally very profitable, in both yields and load. They were expecting to increase services in the very near future.
Some other interesting points:
Indeed, everything changed after the US Government started to require transit passengers to have US VISA
. At the time, Brazilians were the biggest pax in transit in the US, mainly in transit to Asian destinations; this alone is a strong indicator that there is a big business traffic between Brazil and Asia (especially Japan) - Continental, United and American network was also widely used.
After the requirement for Transit VISA
in the US, there has been a drastic reduction in transit pax in the US, especially from Brazil. This resulted in a surge of pax traffic from Brazil to Asia through alternative routes: pax started being channelled mainly through YYC
, and CDG
, AMS, MAD. Air Canada even posted a news release stating that it increased flights from YYC
because of the surge in transit pax from Brazil to Japan via YYC
(there is no need for VISA
for transit pax in Canada). And in EU countries Brazilians don’t even need VISA
(3-month stay allowed without VISA
Another route which started to be used is South Africa. SA
even increased flights to Brazil to daily, and JNB
most profitable route in 2003! Many Brazilian started to fly to Asia through JNB
netwok from JNB
, DEL, etc.
All this made RG
look into other routes to Asia instead of the usual stop-over in LAX
. For example, RG
is expected to open a new route GRU
, with the 777, as of December/04. In addition, the Brazilian and Japanese Governments were discussing a bilateral agreement by which RG
would be allowed to operate to Japan from a third country in Europe. RG
intended to fly the route GRU
On the other hand, the big downfall in transit pax in the US was in 2001-2002. Slowly transit pax traffic via the US is getting back to normal, as more people are getting the US VISA
(which is valid for 10 years for Brazilians). Both JAL and RG
now have again good loads and yields in their flights between Brazil and Japan via the US. Apparently RG
has also abandoned its plan for the flights GRU
, as traffic is picking up through its LAX
I hope my answer will be of use!
: The biggest Japanese community outside Japan lives in the Sao Paulo area. With additional large communities of Koreans and Chinese.
[Edited 2004-10-27 11:27:38]
[Edited 2004-10-27 11:30:57]