Brazil’s Azul aims to increase flight routes by 30% in 2023, CEO says

Brazilian airline Azul expects to expand its routes by 30% next year, with plans to add new slots at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport, one of the busiest in the country, Chief Executive Officer John Rodgerson said.

In an interview on Thursday at the company’s headquarters on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Rodgerson said Azul currently has only 26 slots in Congonhas, whereas its rivals Gol (GOLL4.SA) and LATAM Airlines (LTM.SN) each have around 250.

“The new rules are fairer,” he said, referencing national aviation regulator ANAC’s decision in July to distribute 86 slots at Congonhas to increase competition, with 45 new slots and 41 previously used by bankrupt Avianca Brasil.

Bradesco BBI analysts estimated last month that nearly all the new slots – 84 of 86 – would go to Azul, allowing the company’s presence in the airport to grow fourfold.

Rodgerson expects to start selling tickets for flights from the new slots beginning in March.

By Aluisio Alves via Reuters

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