Air Transport World

The regionals of Brazil. (air lines)

The regionals of Brazil Brazil--Think the regional industry in North America is tough? During their 10 years of existence, in almost every operational area, Brazil's five regional carriers face many similar problems, plus a plethora of challenges unique to South America and to each airlines' respective markets. Despite their small numbers, these five regionals cover an area larger than the 48 contiguous United States.

TABA must serve one of the world's largest and least-developed areas, the Amazon River basin in Brazil's Northern region, while dealing weekly with pilot drain that averages 50% annually. Rio Sul and TAM, in the South, must compete not only with surface transportation, but major carriers as well. Nordeste, in Brazil's Northeast region, now runs under the direct supervision of the government after poor management drained cash reserves and left company records in a shambles. Similarly, the Central Region's Votec now exists as Brazil Central, thanks to a buy-out by TAM to save it from imminent failure; again, management problems.

But as an experiment designed to assure that small cities and towns receive regular airline service, the network devised by Brazil's aviation authority appears to have achieved its purpose. When the plan was drawn up in 1975, the nation's large commercial jet operators were pulling out of more and more small, unprofitable points.

Government-controlled system

In mid-1976 Brazil's Integrated System of Regional Air Transport went into effect. …

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