Air Transport World

Advancing through crossfires: Varig is increasing frequencies and opening new routes in the face of liberalization that has produced heavy competition. (includes article on Varig's modernization of it's computer reservation system) (company profile)

Rio de Janeiro- With the arrival of the midyear peak season, Varig is increasing frequencies and services aggressively, particularly on its U.S. and Canadian routes, where the Brazilian carrier faces new competition. Last year, these routes accounted for 20.9% of all passenger and 37.4% of freight traffic for Varig.

Weekly frequencies from Brazil to Chicago are being doubled from two to four. Miami services go from 1 1 to 13, three of which will operate from the entrant Brazilian gateways of Belem, Manaus and Salvador. Of the remaining 10, only two will operate the Sao Paulo-Rio-Miami route. The other eight will be split, four each from Sao Paulo and Rio. San Francisco becomes Varig's fifth U.S. gateway, starting with four weekly flights.

Services to Europe, 32.2% of the passenger and 28.2% of all-cargo traffic, also are being enhanced. Weekly frequencies to Lisbon and Oporto go from five to seven, as do services to Madrid and Barcelona. One additional flight will be added to Japan, via Los Angeles, making five weekly.

These moves point up the fact that Varig is moving ahead in response to dramatic changes that are taking place in its home market. Until 1989, it was the only international long-haul operator on behalf of the flag. But since the national policy was changed into a multidesignation scheme, Transbrasil has received rights to fly to Orlando and Miami and at this writing, was preparing to begin services to Washington, D.C.

Transbrasil also is negotiating with Aeroflot to start a joint service to Europe that would be the Brazilian carrier's first. …

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