Brazilian airport traffic falls in April for first time in almost three years; Azul and Trip agree to merge
The rapid growth in Brazilian air traffic that saw passenger number grow by 13% in 2009, 21% in 2010 and 16% in 2011 appears to be running out of steam in 2012. Although traffic was up more than 10% in January and February, in March growth was just 5%, while in April passenger numbers through Infraero’s airports fell by 0.3%. This is the first time since May 2009 that passenger numbers have not grown year-on-year.
Azul and Trip announce plans to merge
Having finally broken through the 10% market share milestone in February, third ranked Azul recently announced that it would merge with local rival Trip. Since last December, the two carriers combined have had just over 14% of the Brazilian domestic market.
According to ANAC data for the first four months of 2012, domestic capacity (ASKs) has grown by 10.3% compared with the same period last year. Azul has grown its ASKs by just over 40%, while Trip has grown by just over 65%. The two dominant carriers, GOL and TAM, both saw capacity grow by around 3%, while both saw a small drop in domestic demand (RPKs); TAM of just under 1%, GOL by just over 3%.
It is worth noting that just four years ago, Gol/Varig and TAM had a combined domestic market share of almost 95%. This has since fallen to just under 75%. Or looked at another way, other carriers have grown their market share more than fivefold from under 5% to over 25% in just four years, suggesting that Brazil’s domestic market is becoming an ever more vibrant scene.