A David Neeleman Creation: The History Of Brazil’s Azul

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras has been making waves in the Brazilian aviation industry for just over a decade.…

A David Neeleman Creation: The History Of Brazil’s Azul

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras has been making waves in the Brazilian aviation industry for just over a decade. Often known simply as Azul, meaning ‘Blue’ in Portuguese, the carrier is the brainchild of JetBlue founder David Neeleman. Azul has a considerable market share in Brazilian air traffic, and operates a diverse fleet to domestic and international destinations.

Azul has gone from flying Embraer regional jets to the Airbus A330neo. Photo: Airbus

Azul commenced operations in December 2008, when it launched three domestic routes from Viracopos International Airport in the Brazilian city of Campinas. It looked to find its niche by flying routes that had previously been underserved. The 2010s saw it acquire regional competitor TRIP Linhas Aéreas, as well as opening its first international routes.

In the beginning

When Azul took to the skies 13 years ago, it became the third David Neeleman-founded airline to do so. It followed in the footsteps of JetBlue, Morris Air, and WestJet, and was the first to be based in Neeleman’s country of birth. Azul’s early fleet consisted of Embraer 190 and 195 series regional jets, a family that Neeleman’s JetBlue had begun flying in 2005.

Azul’s first routes from its Campinas hub served Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador. A month later, it also added Curitiba and Vitória to its growing domestic network. Moving into the 2010s, Azul announced its acquisition of Brazilian regional airline TRIP Linhas Aéreas in 2012. That year also saw it diversify its fleet by operating the ATR 72.

David Neeleman, Breeze Airways, Future Flying Forum
Azul was the fourth of the five airlines that David Neeleman has founded to date. Photo: Getty Images

International expansion

Azul has since come to command a 23.5% market share in domestic traffic, thanks to its bold strategy of flying underserved routes from unlikely hubs like Campinas, Belo Horizonte, and Recife. However, in 2014, it took the next step, and looked beyond Brazil’s borders.

It did so using the Airbus A330-200, of which data from ch-aviation.com shows it received five examples in that year. That December, it launched its first international routes, serving two destinations in the US state of Florida. Fort Lauderdale was the first destination, with service commencing on December 2nd, and Orlando followed 13 days later.

Azul has since modernized its long-haul fleet with the Airbus A330neo (-900 variant). It currently operates five of these next-generation twinjets, which it began receiving in 2019. Azul also has three A350-900s on order, although their delivery prospects are uncertain.

Azul ATR 72
Azul also flies turboprops in the form of the ATR 72. Photo: Rafael Luiz Canossa via Flickr

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Recent developments

In recent years, Azul has shown an appetite for further growth through its interest in acquiring other South American carriers. It offered to buy Avianca Brasil in March 2019, before withdrawing this offer a month later, only to resubmit it in May 2019. In any case, this never came to fruition due to Avianca Brasil’s operational suspension that year.

This month has also seen Azul register its interest in purchasing the whole LATAM Airlines Group. This is a bigger plan than its previous intentions with the group, which focused solely on acquiring LATAM Brasil. Azul is confident that its attempts to acquire the LATAM group wouldn’t be blocked, so it will be interesting to see if and how the deal pans out.

What do you make of Azul? Have you ever flown with David Neeleman’s Brazilian carrier? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Finnair Set To Resume A350 Flights To London As Demand Rises

Finnair is set to resume flights to London with its fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft next month. The…

Finnair Set To Resume A350 Flights To London As Demand Rises

Finnair is set to resume flights to London with its fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft next month. The move comes as demand on the route continues to grow and will see the widebody and its sister, the Airbus A330, replacing narrowbodies that have been operating on the route during the pandemic.

Finnair’s Airbus A350s are set to resume flights to London Heathrow. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Edit: Rohan Patel

While a resurgence of COVID-19 across the continent is causing some worry for airlines, the general trend continues to be a recovery trend, with many airlines adding and re-adding services as quickly as possible. Helsinki to London is a massive route for Finnish national carrier Finnair, which shows in the airline’s latest scheduling.

Up to five flights a day

Finnair has been looking to boost its services on the route from London Heathrow to Finland. From December, the airline will be operating its Airbus A330 and Airbus A350, with frequencies of up to five times a day during the peak holiday travel period.

According to data from aviation experts Cirium, Finnair has 100 rotations planned from Helsinki to Heathrow during December. This averages out at around three flights per day. The airline has even added in seven flights between December 17th and January 2nd to account for this.

Finnair, North America, Stockholm
The Airbus A350 was used to serve London before the onset of the pandemic. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

The airline is also adding a stopover service in the UK. From this weekend, Finnair will operate an evening flight out to London on Sunday evenings. The aircraft will then overnight in London before returning to Helsinki early on Sunday mornings.

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Commenting on the return of the widebody, Finnair’s UK General Manager, Andrew Fish, remarked,

“We’re excited to continue our recovery and re-establish our popular frequencies from the UK and Ireland in line with customer demand for flights to Finland over the festive season… Finnair customers will be able to enjoy further flight flexibility when travelling for business or leisure from London to Helsinki, thanks to extra capacity for travellers eager to experience Finland’s winter period.”

Additional flights on other UK and Ireland routes

It’s not just London that is benefiting from additional services. From December 3rd, Finnair will also be upping the number of services that it is operating on the route from Helsinki to both Manchester and Dublin. However, these won’t see the widebodies flying to London.

Finnair, Airbus A350, Stockholm
Finnair’s Airbus A350 won’t be used for the increased capacities to Manchester and Dublin. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Interestingly, it seems as though the bulk of traffic is Brits trying to escape to the continent for a winter break, according to Finnair. The airline remarked that the additional frequencies are targeted at those wishing to experience winter in Finland, especially over the Christmas break.

Are you excited to see the Airbus A350 returning to London next month? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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