The National Civil Aviation Agency in Brazil (ANAC) concluded on Wednesday the redistribution of the 41 pairs of slots (spaces for takeoffs and landings) that were used by Avianca Brasil in Congonhas, São Paulo’s downtown airport, one of the busiest and more lucrative airports in the country.
Azul, which holds 26 spaces at the airport, was awarded 15 slots. Other smaller companies, which do not currently operate at the airport, also benefited.
Following an orientation from the Ministry of Economy, ANAC decided to leave out the redistribution of slots to companies GOL and LATAM, which dominate almost 90 percent of operations in Congonhas.
Priority was given to incoming companies. For this, the regulator changed some rules during the week. One was the 100 percent allocation of incoming slots. The previous percentage was 50 percent and half for the old ones.
The other two smaller airlines granted slots are Passaredo, with 14 slots and Amazonas MAP, with 12. The measure is considered important to help reduce the price of airline tickets, which rose sharply with Avianca’s exit from the market.
Azul Airlines is very critical of the distribution to Passaredo and MAP because they operate smaller turboprop airplanes and the slots could have a better use operating large airplanes like the A320 that Azul operates. Passaredo has a fleet of five ATR72-500s and MAP has a fleet of three ATR42-300s, two ATR72-200s, and one ATR72-500s.
ANAC is waiting for a technical opinion from the government’s aeronautics department about imposing restrictions on the entry of companies that operate smaller aircraft in Congonhas. Officials are still assessing the effects of this measure on airport capacity.
Some critics suggest that the allocation of Avianca slots among smaller companies will have no significant effect on fares because they have no power to interfere with competition.
The new rules will apply until March 2020.
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