Air Transport World

Transbrasil's instinct for survival. (Transbrasil Sociedad Anonima Linhas Aereas; includes a related article on the airlines success in the US market) (Company Profile)

SAO PAULO--As the third-largest Brazilian cartier, Transbrasil is a remarkable case of South American tenacity. Like a rebellious small fish in a red-tinted sea of voracious sharks, it painfully carves its way through whirling forces, hoping for quieter waters.

Creativity, innovation and differentiation are tools of a struggle that the airline has employed since its very beginnings in the late 1950s. Now that the fight reaches a climactic stage, the airline is pioneering again by joining forces with a bigger brother.

The technical/operating/commercial agreement signed with Vasp last April gives some insight into the way airlines in this part of the world try to keep afloat by leveraging efforts mutually. The 10-year agreement aims at efficiency through synergy, meaning rationalization and integration of domestic and int'l air services.

It also comprises integration of support services, such as CRSs, checkin, maintenance, sharing of airplanes and air crews, etc. In the commercial area, the idea is to enhance cooperation in marketing and sales.

There's no mutual shareholding but the CEO of Transbrasil, Omar Fontana, has a seat as vice president of Vasp's board. In his turn, Vasp CEO Wagner Canhedo became vice president of Transbrasil's board.

Everything is being implemented. Many possibihties are clear, however. For Transbrasil, the agreement speeds up reaching long-dreamed-of int'l goals. For example, through a possible code-sharing agreement, passengers will be able to fly from Washington to Brazil and Argentina. The first leg of the trip is Transbrasil's Washington-Brasilia flight. …

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