By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Domestic demand for airline travel increased by 5.4 percent in March 2017 in Brazil, compared to the same month in 2016, according to the Brazilian Aviation Agency (ANAC). According to the regulating agency this the first increase of the indicator after nineteen consecutive months of declines.
“This month’s [March] numbers are encouraging,” says ABEAR president, Eduardo Sanovicz. “The worst moment of the last two years has passed. This has been the perception of our associates,” adds the executive.
Supply of airline seats also registered a growth of 3.5 percent in relation to March of 2016 after eighteen months of declines.
According to the regulator more than 7.4 million passengers took domestic flights in March, with Brazilian companies, Gol and Latam, leading the domestic air travel sector with market shares of 35 and 33 percent respectively.
Sanovicz, however, warns that it is still too early to talk about sustainable growth. “Our numbers are still worse than those of 2014, 2013 and back all the way to 2011, depending on the indicator,” he concludes.
The big surprise, however, was the results for international travel demand delivered by Brazilian companies. These increased by 18.43 percent while supply grew by 9.3 percent, with more than 675,000 passengers transported in the international market in March, according to ABEAR.
The rate of aircraft utilization by the four major Brazilian companies (Gol, Latam, Avianca, Azul) in the international market in March was 84.0 percent, up by 7.8 percent compared to March 2016. Together the four companies make up thirty percent of all international travel to and from Brazil.