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The airfare caps put pressure on Brazil’s two largest airline to introduce similar measures. The airlines expect to recoup any losses by flying fuller planes and adding routes.
Avianca will not charge more than 999 reais ($420) for domestic flights from February to July, Chief Executive José Efromovich told reporters. Rival airline Azul pledged the same ceiling for airfares in June and July, when Brazil hosts the global soccer tournament.
The head of Brazilian tourism agency Embratur, Flavio Dino, applauded the move by Avianca and Azul in a Tuesday release, urging other airlines to follow suit.
Some of that tension could ease starting on Thursday, when ANAC is expected to authorize about 1,500 new domestic flights for the World Cup, expanding travel options between cities hosting games, which should provide some relief for prices.
Avianca requested 430 of those additional routes, Efromovich said on Tuesday, part of the airline’s plans to expand its Brazilian network by 19 percent this year.
TAM, Brazil’s biggest airline, is also loading up on extra routes for the World Cup. The carrier announced on Tuesday that it had requested permission for 850 new domestic flights and over 200 additional international flights in June and July.
The new flights will cost more then 50 million reais to operate, TAM said, in addition to the cost of hiring and training over 1,000 temporary employees.
Reporting by Roberta Vilas Boas. Editing by Peter Galloway and Andrew Hay.
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