Three more foreign airlines have applied to fly domestic flights in Brazil, Brazil’s Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Gomes De Freitas told the media on Monday. The minister declined to name the airlines involved.
“These companies are publicly traded, there are competition issues, we cannot announce them yet,” he was reported as saying by Reuters. On May 22, Brazil’s Senate had voted on a measure to allow foreign controlled airlines to operate in Brazil’s domestic aviation market – an issue marked by years of debate. President Jair Bolsonaro is expected to sign the measure into law soon.
The move opens up competition in an increasingly concentrated market. Three main players who control 90 percent of the flights dominate Brazil’s aviation market – Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes, LATAM Airlines Group and Azul SA.
Earlier in May, Spain’s Air Europa became the first European airline to win a preliminary authorisation to fly domestically in Brazil. Air Europa was welcomed with relief in Brazil as it could possibly fill in the void left by the collapse of Avianca Brasil, once one of the four largest airlines in Brazil.
The new Brazilian government under President Jair Bolsonaro intends to reform the economy and the aviation industry. If President Bolsonaro succeeds in his strategy, analysts believe that it could reduce the dollar exchange rate and costs for airlines. The lower ticket fares are expected to boost demand for air travel in the Brazilian aviation market.