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LATAM Brasil Restores More International Flying, Announces Cancún Flights
As the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Brazil continues and the worst phase of the pandemic recedes throughout the country, airlines are closely monitoring any demand patterns that they can capture in the weeks and months ahead. And this is not limited to domestic flying. LATAM Brasil, the country’s second-largest domestic airline pre-Covid-19 and the largest by far in terms of international travel, has announced new international connections this week.
Of these two announcements, one has garnered special attention. After four years, LATAM Brasil will restart nonstop flights to Cancun, Mexico. Before Covid-19, LATAM’s long-haul network from Brazil usually catered to premium and corporate travelers at its core. Now, with aircraft parked and the airline’s need for revenue generation, it is trying out new strategies to bring in cash.
Because Mexico has never closed its borders to Brazilian tourists, the airline will start connecting its largest hub in São Paulo to the Mexican beach destination, very popular among Brazilian tourists, beginning June 4, relatively short-notice for international travel standards. Between the summer 2014 and summer 2017 seasons, the airline had connected both cities but ditched the flight afterward.
The flight will be operated twice per week with the airline’s Boeing 767-300, with 30 seats in its business class and 191 in economy.
“Mexico is an open destination to Brazilians, even in this moment of big international restrictions, and there is a strong demand for Caribbean beaches,” explained LATAM Brasil Director of Sales and Marketing Diogo Elias. “This is a strategic decision because we will be the only airline in Brazil to operate the route and also offering Premium Business seats.”
Before Covid-19, GOL Airlines operated flights to Cancun with its Boeing 737 aircraft, initially nonstop with the 737 MAX 8 but after the grounding of the next-generation Boeing jet, with a stop in Manaus using its 737-800.
After the pandemic hit, however, the two most popular ways to reach the destination from Brazil were using connections, either aboard Copa Airlines via its Panama City fortress hub or using Aeromexico’s nonstop flight to Mexico City from São Paulo.
Increase of Flights to Lisbon
Besides the new Cancun operation, LATAM Brasil has also augmented its long-haul network elsewhere, as the carrier announced it will soon increase its services from São Paulo to Lisbon. The news was broken by Portugal’s tourism-specialized website Presstur.
According to the website, by the summer the airline intends to connect both cities five times per week. By mid-May, the airline expects to increase the current three weekly flights to four, adding a further frequency by mid-June.
This route is also operated by the company’s Boeing 767-300s and was only restarted weeks ago, after Portugal lifted a travel ban to Brazil. Given their cultural, historic and economic ties, both countries have had sufficient demand even during the pandemic.
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