By Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The airlines criticized a section of the Provisional Measure (MP) approved by Congress, which provides for the return of free checked luggage. Consumer protection associations, on the other hand, considered the change to be positive.

Man with a carry-on. (Photo Internet reproduction)

The statutory text provides for free checked baggage up to 23 kilograms on domestic flights on aircraft having at least 31 seats.

The measure also allows foreign capital investment up to 100 percent in Brazilian airlines. The proposal is now pending the sanction of President Jair Bolsonaro, to be converted into a statute. The Chief Executive may veto sections of it.

The return of a free luggage allowance was not in the MP’s original text, but was suggested by the proposal’s sponsor, Senator Roberto Rocha (PSDB-MA) and approved by members during voting on Tuesday, 21st.

In a statement, the Brazilian Association of Airline Companies (ABEAR) criticized the change and said that the final version approved by Congress contradicts the MP’s initial objective of increasing competitiveness in the sector.

Latam Brazil also positioned itself against the ban on luggage charges.

According to the company, by imposing the return of free luggage allowance, the text approved in the Senate “brings back a restrictive regulatory environment and affects the competitiveness of the airline industry, once more inflicting a misalignment of Brazilian aviation in relation to the international environment and pushing investments away.”

Azul, which is no longer associated with Abear, Gol, and Avianca stated that they would not be commenting at this time.

The Consumer Defense Institute (Idec) applauded the text approved by Congress, considering the return of free luggage check positive for consumers.

“Idec considers the change approved in Congress as positive, as the promised decrease in airfare prices after the end of luggage allowance has not materialized,” said Idec in a statement.

In contrast, the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has indicated that it will not comment on the MP’s approval until the measure has been officially converted into law.

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