U.S. airlines vying for Brazil slots

By Bill Poling
The Transportation Department will soon have to choose which U.S. airlines will get the nod to operate additional service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, this year and in 2014.

Capacity in the U.S.-Brazil market is capped by government agreement until Oct. 1, 2015, but the pact allows for incremental increases this October and again in October 2014.

U.S. carriers, however, seem to have more aspirations for the Sao Paulo market than the agreement allows. The agreement allows 14 more weekly Sao Paulo flights this year, but three U.S. carriers have filed for a total of 28.

Delta filed to claim all of 14, saying it would use the additional rights to double its existing daily nonstops from Atlanta and New York. For 2014, Delta requested seven more weekly frequencies in order to maintain service from its Detroit hub.

US Airways, which is temporarily leasing slots from another airline for Charlotte service starting this June, said it needs seven of this year’s available 14 new frequencies in order to sustain that service, plus an allocation of seven new frequencies in 2014 to launch Philadelphia service.

American, as reported, has applied for rights to add daily Los Angeles flights this year and daily Chicago flights next year, supplementing its existing service from New York, Miami and Dallas.
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